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World Cup Tickets Sold Out for 29 of 64 Matches


World football's ruling body, FIFA, says South Africans purchased more than 100,000 World Cup tickets in the first 24 hours of over-the-counter sales when they opened Thursday to the host nation for the first time. Previous sales had been only through the Internet.

FIFA says tickets are sold out for 29 of the tournament's 64 matches, including the June 11 opener, both semi-finals and the July 11 championship final. Also, game passes for all matches at stadiums in Durban and Cape Town are sold out.

World Cup organizers are selling more than 500,000 of the coveted tickets, with some prices as low as $20 each. As of Thursday, South Africans could purchase tickets at 11 specially set-up ticket centers in World Cup host cities, as well as at 600 South African First National Bank branches nationwide.

There are a total of 2.7 million World Cup tickets for the month-long, 32-nation football tournament.

On Thursday, South African police had to restore order at some ticket centers after sporadic fighting among fans erupted when technical problems caused lengthy delays in ticket sales. Cape Town and Pretoria are among the places where the scuffles occurred.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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