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Rush Expected as World Cup Seats Go on Sale

September 18, 2000
Tickets for the 2002 soccer World Cup will soon be on sale in Japan following a recent decision on how those earmarked for domestic use will be allocated. The scramble for the approximately 340,000 seats available to the general public will begin well before the tournament itself, which will be jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea

Competition Set to Be Fierce
There will be a total of 3 million tickets for the 2002 World Cup, 400,000 more than for the 1998 tournament in France. Because the 2002 event will be jointly hosted by two countries, however, only 32 of the 64 matches--stretching from the preliminary rounds to the final--will take place in Japan. Therefore, just 750,000 tickets, or 25% of the total, have been allocated for domestic sale. The Japan Organizing Committee for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan (JAWOC) has decided to split these tickets as follows: 45% (about 340,000 tickets) for general sale; 25% (about 190,000 tickets) for the Japan Football Association; 20% (about 150,000 tickets) for the 10 local governments that will host World Cup matches; and the remaining 10% (about 75,000 tickets) for use as part of high-price packages that include such extras as a meal. With even the cheapest seat costing 7,000 yen (63.6 U.S. dollars at 110 yen to the dollar), the tickets are certainly not cheap by most people's standards. However, fans wanting to see the first World Cup ever to be held in Asia firsthand will surely be eager to obtain tickets regardless of cost.

Priority for J.League Supporters
Applications for tickets were scheduled to open on October 2, but this has been postponed indefinitely. The decision to allocate just 340,000 tickets to the general public guarantees that competition for them will be fierce. Once applications open, the struggle to get a ticket for Japan's three first-round games will be particularly intense.

Reaction to the decision on ticket allocation was swift. Supporters of the Japan Professional Football League (J.League) demanded that those who regularly attend pro-soccer matches be given priority and presented a 7,000-signature petition to JAWOC. JAWOC agreed that the supporters, on whose loyalty Japanese soccer depends, should be treated well and decided to set aside some of the JFA's allocation of 190,000 tickets for them. It was decided to give such supporters priority when allocating tickets, mainly for games involving Japan. What must now be decided is how to define a "supporter" and how these tickets should be allocated to them. For those who want to get tickets quickly, it might be wise to consider becoming a J.League supporter.

Tickets were the cause of a number of problems at the last World Cup in France. Many Japanese tourists, for example, were among the victims of a counterfeit ticket scheme. The scramble for tickets to see the 2002 World Cup will probably continue to heat up as the tournament approaches.

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Trends in JapanCopyright (c) 2000 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.