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Which Countries Will Be Best Represented at the World Cup?

Which Countries Will Be Best Represented at the World Cup?

Find out which countries will be best represented in terms of ticket sales at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia on June 14. The showpiece soccer tournament, which features 32 national teams from around the globe, is the largest sports event in the world and is expected to draw over 3 billion television viewers and generate further billions in commercial revenue.

Yet many hardcore fans will be making the journey to Russia to attend the games in person. Understandably, Russians will make up the greatest number of fans at the stadiums with 872,578 tickets sold at a discount price. But which foreign nations will supply the greatest number of traveling fans?

Perhaps surprisingly, Americans bought the second greatest amount of tickets with 86,710 sold, despite the US Men’s Team failing to qualify for the tournament for the first time in thirty years after an embarrassing defeat to Trinidad & Tobago, ranked a lowly 83rd in the world, in October.

Their fans will likely be bolstered, however, by a substantial number of US citizens of Mexican descent. Mexico will indeed be competing in the cup, albeit in a difficult group with Germany, Sweden, and South Korea.

In third place comes soccer-crazy Brazil with 71,787 tickets sold; in fourth place, Colombia which will send 64,231 fans; in fifth place, current defending champion Germany with 60,457, while Mexico itself is sixth with over 58,000 traveling fans.

Tickets were sold in phases, beginning September 2017, with prices ranging from US$100 for an opening group stage match to $1,100 for seats at the final on July 15. As the host nation, Russians were granted cheaper prices beginning at $20 per ticket

Given the size of the event, the black market for World Cup tickets is in many ways equally impressive with FIFA, the world soccer governing body, requiring host nations to crack down on scalps.

FIFA launched a criminal complaint Tuesday against Swiss-based online ticket platform Viagogo for “opaque and deceptive business conduct” in the secondary market by offering tickets at marked-up prices.

“FIFA’s ultimate objective in the fight against the secondary ticket market is to prioritize the safety and security of fans and enforce a fair 2018 FIFA World Cup ticketing pricing scheme,” it said.