More than 740,000 tickets for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia have been sold in the first phase of sales before Friday’s finals draw.

Russian fans accounted for 47 per cent of the 742,760 tickets sold in the two periods of sales phase one.

Demand from international applications increased steadily, with the US, Brazil, Germany, China, Mexico, Israel, Argentina, Australia and England all ranking in the top 10.

A second phase of sales will run from December 5 until January 31.

“We are very pleased with the results of the first sales phase. They confirmed the great interest sparked by the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia – both at local and international level,” said Fifa’s head of ticketing, Falk Eller.

“The next opportunity to secure a place at this unique event will start on 5 December 2017 at 12:00 Moscow time at FIFA.com/tickets, just four days after the final draw.

“Fans from all over the world will be able to apply for individual match tickets. Category 4 tickets, which are exclusively reserved for Russian residents, will also be available.”

Eleven host cities will be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 cities across Russia.