England fans appear to be reticent about travelling to next summer’s Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup according to new data released by football’s governing body.
Fifa announced that 3.5m ticket requests were made during the first sales period, which concluded on Thursday. Two million requests were made in the final week of the period as many nations confirmed their qualification.
However, England – often one of the best supported teams in international competitions – are not among the top 10 countries in terms of ticket requests.
Host nation Russia accounts for around 70 per cent of requests, while fellow qualifiers Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Columbia, Egypt and Poland are in the top 10. China and the US are also among the elite despite their absence from the finals.
England were among the top 10 when sales data was released on October 5, and despite Gareth Southgate’s team qualifying for Russia since then, demand from other nations has been greater.
England were the sixth best supported team at Brazil 2014, with only Germany sending more fans over from Europe, according to Bleacher Report.
In August, it was reported that a UK Foreign Office memo suggested poor ticket sales were expected for Russia 2018 due to fears of violence.
Around 150,000 tickets have been requested for the opening match and more than 300,000 for the final.
Fifa confirmed that exactly 3,496,204 tickets were requested during the sales period, which ran from September 14 to October 12. An average of 54,000 tickets have therefore been requested for each of the 64 games to be played during the tournament.
All successful, partially successful and unsuccessful applicants will be duly notified of the outcome of their applications by November 16.
Fifa said: “Sales Phase 1 will restart on November 16 with a first-come, first-served sales period when the fans will be able to purchase 2018 Fifa World Cup tickets in real time on Fifa.com/tickets with immediate confirmation of successful application.”