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FIFA announced that the first general sales phase via ballot would start in August 2013 and I decided to try my luck. The tickets weren’t cheap so we decided to go for the group stages match(es) only.
I signed up for an account at FIFA’s website sometime in July 2013 and started to do my research. The qualified teams wouldn’t be confirmed until December so it was really a stab in the dark on which teams that we would get to watch. Our decision would be mainly based on venue and timing.
Watching a match at Maracanã Stadium was my top choice but many people had the same idea as me. I reckoned that matches at Belo Horizonte would be less popular than the ones in Rio or São Paulo so I decided to ballot for one of the matches at Mineirão as well.
In the end, I chose to ballot for the following matches:-
At the time of application, it seemed that it would be easier to get Cat 1 tickets for Match 31. The demand for Cat 2 tickets were lower in Belo Horizonte so we went for that as a back-up.
The application period for the first general sales phase ended in October and it wouldn’t be until November when we knew of the outcome. The announcement of the application result was pushed back from 5 to 11 November as FIFA couldn’t inform the all the applicants in time.
All anxiety was forgotten when I received an e-mail from FIFA on 8 November:-
The dilemma became whether to go for one or both of the matches. We decided to delay the decision until the World Cup Final draw on 6 December.
Match 31 Belgium v Russia
Match 40 England v Costa Rica.
While admittedly neither Belgium nor Russia were the teams that I most wanted to watch (I was hoping for either Spain, Argentina or Germany), the match would probably be still a cracking one.
Seeing England in the same group as Uruguay and Italy, it is likely that they may be out of the tournament before their final match against Costa Rica (especially with Roy Hodgson in charge). It was a logistical challenge getting to BH just for the match so we decided to skip it.
As of 29 April, we are still trying to get our pair of Match 40 tickets (Cat 2, 135 USD each) resold through FIFA. However, I’ll be glad to have someone take them off me at face value. Collection will have to be at Rio de Janeiro between 19 and 23 June. Leave a comment below if anyone’s interested. The tickets were resold successfully through FIFA.