Ticket applications surge after draw

CAPE TOWN - Applications for World Cup tickets have surged following the draw for next year's event with almost 222,000 made in the 48 hours since the last phase of sales opened, FIFA said on Monday.

Around one million tickets were made available in the latest phase following Friday's draw in Cape Town when the groups for the 32-team finals were decided.

A statement from world football's governing body said there had been a sudden increase in applications following the draw.

Ticket applications can be made until January 22 after which a lottery will decide the successful fans.

South African organisers have made repeated appeals to locals to buy tickets, fearing that residents will be outnumbered by foreign fans.

South African residents have bought just over half of the 674,403 tickets sold in the first two phases of sales.

The third phase opened on Saturday with 219,162 applications made.

Tickets are being sold over the Internet. In South Africa, they are also being sold at local bank branches.

Prices range from $20 to $900, a massive jump from what locals are used to paying to watch domestic football.