When it comes to the FIFA World Cup™, the issue of ticketing is always of chief importance among fans. For that reason, FIFA invited a number of Brazilian journalists to a round-table discussion on 20 October in Zurich, where they had the chance to pose questions to FIFA Marketing Director Thierry Weil and Executive Chairman of MATCH AG Jaime Byrom. FIFA.com rounds up the highlights.

Thierry Weil, FIFA Marketing Director and member of FIFA Ticketing AG
On ticket sales
Ticketing is a very complex operation. There are going to be an estimated 3.3 million tickets available, although we are yet to confirm a precise number. That will only be possible once all the stadiums are ready and we know which seats cannot be made available for purchase, such as those with an obstructed view. We also need to organise the Fan Fests together with the host cities. There are going to be plenty of additional activities for fans in 2014 too.

On scheduling
The sale of FIFA World Cup tickets will begin after the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013, probably towards the end of August 2013. Tickets for the Confederations Cup will go on general sale after the draw at the end of 2012. We made this decision in order to prevent confusion between the two events among fans.

On procedure
The first sales phase will be a lottery in which fans can apply for tickets, which are then allocated via random draw. Everyone can take part and will have an equal chance of securing tickets. The majority of tickets will be sold through FIFA.com, the official FIFA World Cup website. Similarly to South Africa 2010, there will also be ticket outlets in Brazil for local fans who do not have access to the internet. Furthermore, we will be working with local organisations to ensure we are able to reach every fan.

On pricing
We know that Brazilians are passionate about football. We are in discussions with the government and the Local Organising Committee to ensure that every social group has an equal chance of seeing World Cup matches live. It's our aim to make it possible for anyone to attend matches, from wealthier fans to those with lower incomes. We believe a large proportion of tickets will go to Brazilians. Fans are of utmost importance to us. If the fans in the stadiums are happy, it'll be a fantastic World Cup.

Jaime Byrom, Executive Chairman of MATCH Hospitality
The early signs are that we're going to be overwhelmed by the demand for tickets, which is very promising. The World Cup in Brazil is still three years away, but I can already say that the number of requests so far surpasses any previous World Cup for which we've been responsible for hospitality and ticketing. We will be taking a fresh approach to hospitality for Brazil 2014 and will be introducing a brand new product. Aside from team and city-specific tickets, there will also be a package which covers all the main stadiums.