06-Mar-2018 13:00:08 | The Guardian
From tickets to trouble spots and the football itself, we place under the microscope the issues that will determine the success of this summer’s tournament
Fifa has provided the usual positive bulletins about uptake, with just under five million having been requested by the end of the January sales window. Just over half of those have come from within Russia; perhaps depressingly, England features outside the top 10 countries for demand, contributing only 57,957 requests to the total. For context the Netherlands, a much smaller country whose side did not qualify for the tournament, made 71,096 requests. This does not, of course, equate to tickets sold and there are still two phases to go. But with international fans’ appetites clearly an issue there will be much focus on making sure local supporters fill the stadiums. In 2014 the average monthly salary in Mordovia, the republic of which Saransk is capital, was £255; it may make Panama v Tunisia, even at prices starting at £16 for Russian citizens in the group stage, something of an extravagance.
Related: World Cup 2018: team-by-team guide to all 32 countries
Related: Russia 2018 World Cup: the complete guide to all the stadiums