SAO PAULO (AP) – The nearly 230,000 tickets in the second phase of sales for the 2014 World Cup were sold out Monday just seven hours after being made available on FIFA's website.
FIFA said the ''level of interest was impressive,'' and was greater than in the first sales window, when almost 890,000 tickets were allocated through a random selection draw.
More than 6.2 million tickets have been requested for the first World Cup in Brazil since 1950, nearly double the amount of total tickets available. Only 1.1 million were put on sale in the initial sales phases.
Tickets for the most popular games were not on sale in the second phase, including the June 12 opener in Sao Paulo, the July 13 final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the two semifinals and all of Brazil's group-stage matches.
More tickets will be on sale Dec. 8, after the World Cup draw determines where and when the 32 teams will play. FIFA said about 8 percent of the tickets then will be available exclusively to supporters of the teams playing in each of the first-round matches.
FIFA said about 62 percent of the tickets went to Brazilians, with most of the international sales going to Americans, Australians, English, and Argentines.
Football's governing body said there were 3.6 million page views on the website on Monday, leading to an average waiting time of 45 minutes before people could access the page selling the tickets.
''The high number of applicants led to some waiting time but overall the system worked well,'' FIFA marketing director Thierry Weil said in a statement. ''It was great to see that both internationals and Brazilians were aiming to grab the remaining tickets from the first batch of tickets made available.''
Each applicant could request for up to four tickets for a maximum of seven of the 64 matches.