Twitter has blown up with complaints about the sea of empty seats at the 2018 FIFA World Cup game between Egypt and Uruguay today (Friday).
While FIFA claims to have sold upwards of 2.4 million tickets for the tournament that kicked off yesterday, football fans around the world are noticing the vast numbers of empty seats in Ekaterinburg today.
A day before the start of the tournament, it was reported that tickets for more than 20 World Cup matches were still unsold, though the Egypt v Uruguay game had not been mentioned as a low sales game.
British columnist and journalist Sid Lowe tweeted: “Woah, that’s a lot of empty seats, isn’t it?”
Whoah, that's a lot of empty seats, isn't it?
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) June 15, 2018
Another World Cup tradition endures: 10 minutes into the second half and there are hundreds of empty seats in the VIP sections. pic.twitter.com/MyYlbiP03a
— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) June 14, 2018
While others picked up on the fact that the temporary stands at Ekaterinburg were more full than the original stadium’s stands.
“#EGYURU why have a temporary stand that reaches half way to the moon when there are masses of empty seats throughout the main stadium?”
#EGYURU why have a temporary stand that reaches half way to the moon when there are masses of empty seats throughout the main stadium?
— Rob Irving (@robirving845) June 15, 2018
— World Soccer (@WorldSoccerMag) June 15, 2018
FIFA explained that the lack of sell outs is due to an extra 120,000 tickets only being released last week, rather than a lack of public interest. The FIFA ticketing website will remain open until the day of the final on July 15.
Others suggest making tickets cheaper: “what about the empty seats at the #EGYURU match…what are @FIFAcom thinking?? Make the tickets affordable or give them to local kids!! Pricing fans out of the game!! #FIFA18WorldCup”
— Lee Bullen (@BullenFootball) June 15, 2018
“why are there so many empty seats? it’s the #WorldCup”
— Jack Grimse (@JackGrimse) June 15, 2018
There are also plenty of tickets for low-profile games, such as Egypt’s meeting with Saudi Arabia, in Volgograd, on June 25.
Other games with tickets available in two categories include Croatia v Nigeria in Kaliningrad, Colombia v Japan in Saransk, Nigeria v Iceland in Volgograd and Panama v Tunisia in Saransk.