Considering weak ticket sales, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has urged New Zealand football fans to purchase tickets for the Women’s World Cup following the depletion of their complimentary ticket sources.
As CNN reported, Infantino encouraged fans to “do the right thing” and attend the matches. Other FIFA officials have requested fans to avoid buying tickets at the “last moment.”
Recent reports disclosed that a sluggish rate of ticket sales led to 20,000 tickets being distributed for free. All these tickets were provided by the official partner and New Zealand’s accounting software company Xero.
New Zealand has been having difficulty attracting fans, with Australia, the co-host nation, seeing the lion’s share of ticket sales.
During a press conference in Auckland, New Zealand, Infantino implored, “New Zealand, we want you. We need you,”
FIFA’s secretary general for New Zealand, Fatma Samoura, added that tickets are available for some matches, so don’t wait. Purchase them now. You can still apply and get your tickets for most matches, and we hope that this will also be the women’s sporting event with the highest attendance.
According to a spokesperson from Xero, their allotment of free tickets has run out, with no more giveaways in sight.
Many financial concerns can likely be traced back to the promise of guaranteed payments to all the participating athletes for the first time. FIFA consented to a minimum of $30,000 for each Women’s World Cup participant, with $110 million pledged to players, making up part of the total $152 million allocated to players, clubs, and federations.
Infantino reassured fans about the quality of the games and commended the growth of women’s football.
“A lot of people still assume that women’s football is not as good, not as exciting, or is a lesser version of men’s football,” he stated.
He said, “However, once they watch a match, they’ll realize it’s fantastic. It’s highly entertaining. The players are skilled athletes, and the level has incredibly advanced in the past decade, and the best is yet to come.”
Despite the financial pressure, the New Zealand team celebrated a historic victory in the opening match against Norway, marking their first-ever Women’s World Cup game win (1-0).