Fifa has announced the Confederations Cup match between hosts Russia and Portugal has sold out, as they moved to allay fears about poor sales.
Earlier this month, Vitaly Mutko, head of the Russian Football Union, admitted “we are concerned with is the tempo of ticket sales”.
However, this week Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura told a media briefing that all 45,000 tickets have been sold for the game between Russia and the European champions at Moscow’s Otkrytiye Arena.
The Confederations Cup, which features seven continental champions and the host country, is being used as a test event for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia. A total of 695,000 tickets are available for the event, which runs between June and July.
Samoura, who was speaking after a board meeting of the 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC), suggested that the sell-out is indicative of demand to attend games and that the ticket-selling infrastructure is working well.
“We can already announce that the match No5 between Russia and Portugal in Moscow will be the full house – the tickets for this game are currently no longer available,” she said. “It shows how popular the Fifa Confederations Cup is. We count on the media to spread the good news and I persuade people to rush to FIFA.com/tickets and also to the newly-opened ticketing centres that have been operational since 19 April (except in Kazan) for the tickets.”
Mutko, chairman of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia LOC, gave assurances about security systems that are to be in place for the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup. Mutko previously said that 211,475 ticket transactions during the first phase of sales was below expectations.
“Russia in general is ready for the Confederations Cup,” he said. “Four stadiums are put into operation. The test events are being held. All 12 training grounds and accommodation for the teams are ready.
“As you know we use a new element of the thorough security system – the so-called Fan ID. All centres where fans can get it are already operational. The state law implies that electronic version of the Fan ID is a pass for the entrance to Russia with no visa required.
“It’s a unique tournament where only champions and the host country participate. We expect enormous interest in it.”