Ticket sales ex­ceed es­ti­mate

Real Madrid and other con­ti­nen­tal club cham­pi­ons to be greeted by Dhabi, the mas­cot, who was un­veiled yes­ter­day

The National - News - Sport - - FOOTBALL - John McAu­ley jm­cauley@then­ational.ae

Or­gan­is­ers of this year’s Fifa Club World Cup have urged foot­ball fans to buy their tick­ets as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter early sales far ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions.

Tick­ets for the tour­na­ment, which takes place in the Emi­rates from De­cem­ber 6-16, have been avail­able since the be­gin­ning of this month, first open only to Visa card­hold­ers and then to the gen­eral pub­lic, from June 19.

With Span­ish gi­ants Real Madrid hav­ing con­firmed their spot at the seven-team event by win­ning the Uefa Cham­pi­ons League on June 3, lo­cal or­gan­is­ers said the ini­tial rush for tick­ets has been sig­nif­i­cantly greater than in 2009 and 2010, when Abu Dhabi last hosted the Club World Cup. Tick­ets start from Dh20.

“Un­til this point, the ticket sales have been per­fect,” said Aref Al Awani, tour­na­ment di­rec­tor of the Lo­cal Or­gan­is­ing Com­mit­tee (LOC), yes­ter­day as the 2017 tour­na­ment’s of­fi­cial mas­cot was launched.

“For ex­am­ple, in 2010 the pre­sale was less than 1,000 tick­ets, but now we’ve sold up to 10,000. We are talk­ing about a mas­sive dif­fer­ence.

“Also, the to­tal sales for Cat­e­gory 3 tick­ets are at al­most 70 per cent, which is an im­pres­sive num­ber, and within the next two weeks we will re­lease a re­port so peo­ple can know what’s still avail­able. But I ad­vise every­body to choose their tick­ets very soon be­cause they are go­ing so quickly.

“As a pre-sale, 10,000 did ex­ceed greatly our ex­pec­ta­tions. So that’s why we feel we have to put more ef­fort into sat­is­fy­ing the needs and ex­pec­ta­tions of each fan com­ing to the matches.”

The UAE will host the tour­na­ment this De­cem­ber for a third time, where eight matches will be played across two sta­di­ums: the cap­i­tal’s Zayed Sports City and the Hazza bin Zayed Sta­dium in Al Ain.

At present, Madrid, Mex­ico’s Pachuca and New Zealand’s Auck­land City are con­firmed, along with Ara­bian Gulf League cham­pi­ons Al Jazira, who pro­vi­sion­ally fill the slot given to the host coun­try.

How­ever, should Al Ain win the Asian Cham­pi­ons League – the Gar­den City club con­test the quar­ter-fi­nals later this sum­mer – they will take the slot for the Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion cham­pi­ons, and the run­ners-up to Al Ain will take Jazira’s place. With de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Madrid en­ter­ing only at the semi-fi­nal stage, there is some con­cern that ear­lier matches may not be able to at­tract ca­pac­ity at­ten­dances – a prob­lem that af­fected the tour­na­ments in 2009 and 2010.

Yet Al Awani said the LOC are con­fi­dent this year’s event will not en­counter the same is­sue.

“This time, on the guid­ance of Ma­jor Gen­eral Mo­hammed Khal­fan Al Ro­maithi, chair­man of the Higher LOC, we in­tended to ini­ti­ate the cam­paign early, as you can see,” Al Awani said.

“We started hav­ing the road­show one month ago and mak­ing the tick­ets avail­able early.

“From our side, we’ve done our home­work. We’ve pre­pared the tick­et­ing in a very good way so it’s an easy process.

“I’m sure that most of the fans by maybe Oc­to­ber will have their ticket.

“We’re hop­ing to have full houses for ev­ery matches. “The Club World Cup is for every­body, not only the UAE but the re­gion and the whole world to cel­e­brate it.”

In 2010 the pre­sale was less than 1,000 tick­ets, but now we’ve sold up to 10,000. We are talk­ing about a mas­sive dif­fer­ence Aref Al Awani Tour­na­ment di­rec­tor

Christo­pher Pike / The Na­tional

Dhabi, the Ara­bian gazelle, was un­veiled as the Club World Cup mas­cot at the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. The tour­na­ment takes place De­cem­ber 6-16.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.