Ticket sales for the soccer World Cup are approaching the three million mark ahead of the tournament kicking off in Qatar on Nov. 20, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and event organisers said on Monday.
The top 10 purchasing countries of the 2.89 million tickets sold are Qatar, the United States, Saudi Arabia, England, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, Brazil and Germany, FIFA's World Cup Chief Operating Officer Colin Smith told a news conference in Doha.
"There is currently either low or no availability for matches," Smith said.
Infantino, addressing the conference in a recorded video, said 240,000 hospitality packages had been sold for the month-long tournament, making it the "most successful hospitality program ever," he said.
Hospitality tickets, which allow access to luxurious stadium lounges, some with free-flowing alcoholic drinks, cost more than $34,300 per person for semi-final matches and the final, according to FIFA's website.
Qatar, the smallest country to have hosted soccer's global showpiece tournament, is preparing for an estimated 1.2 million visitors during the World Cup, the first to be held in a Middle Eastern country.
Thousands of fans are expected to stay in neighbouring countries like tourism hub the United Arab Emirates and fly in to Doha for matches due to limited accommodation in Qatar.
The director general of Qatar's World Cup organising committee, Yasir Al Jamal, told the news conference that two million room nights had been sold and Qatar has added an additional 30,000 rooms to accommodate last-minute ticket sales.
"This has been designed to ensure that all ticket holders have the best chance of securing accommodation," Al Jamal said.
With most of the 31,000 or so hotel rooms in Qatar occupied by soccer teams, their support staff and World Cup officials, organisers are offering fans accommodation in apartments, villas, prefabricated metal cabins, desert tents and three cruise ships moored in the Doha port.
Japan will be the first team to arrive for the tournament on Nov. 7, Smith said.