Friday , May 24 2024

FIFA to distribute 20,000 free tickets to World Cup matches in New Zealand


World football governing body FIFA will give away a large number of free tickets for the 2023 Women’s World Cup following concerns about the slow rate of sales.

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. ahead of the Womens World Cup draw on October 22, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Shane Wenzlick

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. ahead of the Women’s World Cup draw on October 22, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Shane Wenzlick

On June 8 it had announced that more than a million tickets had been sold, but mostly for matches in Australia. FIFA women’s football director Sarai Bareman told Reuters that it is harder to attract fans in New Zealand due to the low profile of the sport there.

New Zealand haven’t won a match in five World Cups, while Australia have made it past the group stage in the last four editions.

Australia are currently 10th in the FIFA rankings.

New Zealand, who are 26th, just ended a streak of 10 matches without a win by beating Vietnam 2-0 in a friendly earlier this week.

Jacinda Ardern, the former prime minister of New Zealand, is trying to get people interested in the event, writing in an Instagram post: “There are still tickets to some games across New Zealand, so whether you’re an amateur enthusiast or an expert, this is your reminder to jump online and join in!”

Some 20,000 free tickets will be issued in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Dunedin. A partner of the World Cup will also provide 5,000 free tickets.

The hosts are in group A with Norway, the Philippines and Switzerland. Also based in the country are group C with Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia, and Japan, group E with the U.S., Netherlands, Vietnam, and Portugal and group G with Sweden, South Africa, Italy and Argentina.

New Zealand will play their opening match against Norway on July 20 at Eden Park Stadium in Auckland. Vietnam will face defending champions the U.S. at this venue two days later.

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