FIFA says it has now allocated one million tickets for the Women’s World Cup, as the competition continues to be dogged by discussion over empty seats and reports of poor attendances.
Four days into the tournament in France, the governing body of football has announced the ticketing milestone. However, it notably says the tickets have been “allocated” rather than sold.
FIFA claims that 14 out of the 52 matches are now “sold out”, which it describes as meaning “no more inventory [is] available”.
The games that are sold out include the final and semi-finals in Lyon and one quarter-final in Paris. Ten group games – including France’s three matches – have no tickets remaining for sale.
Despite the positive update from FIFA, TV viewers around the world have been noting empty seats at stadiums. England’s game against Scotland attracted just 13,000 fans to the 36,000-seat Allianz Riviera in Nice.
The total attendance recorded at the 2015 tournament in Canada saw more than 1.3 million fans watching in stadiums.
Prior to the tournament beginning, fans were left outraged when they discovered their seats would not be grouped together. The frustrations continued the day before the match between France and South Korea on Friday, after ticketholders were emailed new print-at-home tickets with a subject line that said “download your e-tickets,” which confused fans.
Chaos ensued prior to the opening match at the Parc de Princes stadium in Paris as some fans, who had brought both their original and replacement tickets, were left waiting for two hours at the box office and then faced further issues as ushers reportedly did not know where to seat them.
The tournament kicked off on June 7 and will run through to the final at the Stade de Lyon on July 7.