2018 World Cup: Over 2 million people apply for tickets
By Wang Meng
There have been more than two million applications for tickets for the 2018 World Cup as the first phase of the sales period ended on Thursday.
Nearly 70 percent of those applications for the ballot come from host nation Russia, but there are concerns that ticket prices are out of the reach of ordinary Russians, in a country whose economy is strained by Western sanctions.
As hosts, Russians have a discount. Tickets for locals start at just over 20 US dollars, while foreign fans will pay between about 100 US dollars for group stage matches and more than 1,000 US dollars for the final.
The World Cup's online booking system /CGTN Photo

The World Cup's online booking system /CGTN Photo

Nevertheless, Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month asked for more affordable tickets be made available to Russian fans. 
“We need to look once again at the availability of tickets and to increase the number of cheap tickets as much as possible. Naturally, this issue must be resolved in close cooperation with FIFA and on the basis of the Confederations Cup experience,” Putin said, referencing the international tournament held in Russia this summer.
November 16 is the date the world’s most passionate football fans, in Russia and elsewhere, are waiting for. That’s when they will find out if they’ve pulled a lucky ticket to go to the World Cup – or not.