'Come and watch the games': Concerned about small crowd at Women's World Cup in New Zealand

'Come and watch the games': Concerned about small crowd at Women's World Cup in New Zealand

Record number of tickets but there are concerns about sales in New Zealand. 1.375 million tickets have been sold for the Women's World Cup finals in Oceania, FIFA's president welcomed on Wednesday, while imploring New Zealanders to “seize the moment”.

“It's not too late, we need you, come and watch the matches,” Gianni Infantino told New Zealand reporters, on Wednesday, in Auckland, during the press conference to launch the World Cup (July 20 – August 20). “We still have tickets available for most matches, but do not wait until the last minute,” said Fatma Samoura, Secretary General of the International Federation.

The World Cup begins on Thursday with the match between New Zealand and Norway in Auckland, the same day that Australia will play Ireland in Sydney in front of a crowd of 80,000 spectators. On the other hand, the Ferns' opening match against Norway at Eden Park in Auckland is not yet sold out. Tickets were still available on Wednesday for this match.

New Zealand accounts for less than a quarter of tickets sold

New Zealand will host 29 matches in total, including all pool matches for two-time defending champions USA. But in recent days, Jane Patterson, New Zealand's head of World Cup operations, said the total number of tickets sold for matches in the country had reached just over 320,000, less than a quarter of the total announced by FIFA on Wednesday.

“We know New Zealanders are late buying tickets,” Fatma Samoura commented on Wednesday. “The only message I want to send here is to seize this moment, and be proud of what I have been able to achieve here, in New Zealand, and in Australia,” Gianni Infantino told the press.

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“This is a moment that all New Zealand football fans should seize. It is already the most followed women's sporting event,” Fatma Samoura continued. “But I want to say to New Zealand fans that the spectacle they will see, not just their national team, will be unique.” . “When they go to watch a match for the first time, they will see that it is amazing,” Gianni Infantino said.

The Czech, New Zealand coach, announced in a press conference, on Wednesday, before the match against Norway: “This is an opportunity for this country not only to be a rugby country, but to reawaken its love for football.” For her part, Captain Ali Riley stressed that the World Cup is “an opportunity for sports culture to inspire young people.”

In his opening press conference for the Women's World Cup, the FIFA leader was more measured than he was eight months ago in Qatar in December during the men's event. “Today, I feel like a Qatari, an Arab, an African, a homosexual, a homosexual, a disabled person, a migrant worker,” he said in Doha in a widely commented speech. In Auckland, he simply said: “I'm tired because I've just been relegated, but I'm very happy.” »

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