FIFA says more than 1,300 World Cup ticket buyers will have to exchange tickets as they are no longer associated with valid seats for the opening game between Brazil and Croatia on Thursday. According to the governing body, this same snafu has occurred at previous World Cups, due to stadium configuration, and is not related to the larger problems that have plagued host country Brazil as it preps for the international soccer tournament.
According to Associated Press, FIFA contacted 1,376 2014 World Cup ticketholders on Saturday after it had finalized plans for the location of the media area and broadcast operations at Arena Corinthians, located in Sao Paulo. According to the organization, “FIFA has now been able to validate all stadia and took note that in some few instances the seating configurations as well as the signage were not exactly built as per the submitted maps.”
The affected ticketholders will need to exchange their tickets at the stadium on Thursday or at one of the 24 official ticketing centers located throughout Brazil. A similar situation occurred during the 2013 Confederations Cup, held in Brazil, when ticketholders were told of the change at the stadium on match day. World Cup fans do not buy tickets associated with specific seats, tickets are sold in one of four categories with seats assigned following the finalization of seating charts.
FIFA said it has sold close to 3 million tickets for this year's World Cup, with 60 percent of tickets purchased by Brazilians followed by residents of the U.S., Argentina, Germany and England. Despite the full support of the governing body, there have been plenty of concerns over stadium construction, infrastructure and lack of support by Brazilians.