Less than two weeks before the 2002 World Cup is scheduled to get underway for the first time ever in Asia, organizers in co-host South Korea say more than 170,000 tickets remain unsold. South Korea which is co-hosting the World Cup finals with Japan, has been allocated 1.46 million tickets from the total of 3.2 million on sale. Japan was able to sell out its supply of tickets by the end of April. Despite the slow ticket sales, a Korean World Cup Organizing Committee official said he was confident the rest of the tickets would be sold before the opening match in Seoul on May 31, when Senegal challenges defending champion France.
The organizing committee believes ticket sales will accelerate during the World Cup finals. That view is supported by a report from Chinese state media and travel agents. It said Monday that only about one-quarter of the 100,000 fans expected to travel to South Korea to follow China's World Cup debut have purchased their tickets.