Tickets for the 2008 European football championships are in great demand. Around ten million requests have been registered for the 350,000 made available online.
Applications for passes to the matches to be played in Switzerland and Austria are 18 times greater than they were ahead of the 2004 championships in Portugal.
The European football association, Uefa, said more than half a million fans from 142 countries took advantage of the online offer to put in requests.
They were allowed to make applications between March 1 and 31 and were limited to one match per day and a maximum of four tickets per match. Prices range between SFr70 and SFr880 ($57 -$721).
Not surprisingly, the hottest tickets are for the final in Vienna, with more than 650,000 requests – for 50,000 seats - followed by the semi-final matches to be played in the Austrian capital and the Swiss city, Basel.
As far as teams are concerned, the most requests went in for games to be played by Switzerland, England, the Netherlands and Germany, even though only the Swiss – as co-hosts – are assured a place in the tournament.
Uefa said the validity of all requests would be checked in early April, with a draw in the middle of the month to allocate tickets for over-subscribed matches.
The association has assured fans that it will be a random draw supervised by a notary. Applicants will be notified whether they have been successful or not by the end of the month.
But online sales only represent one third of the 1.05 million tickets available for the 31 games.
Each of the teams that qualify for the tournament will also receive tickets, which accounts for approximately 19 per cent of the ticket quota. They will be sold to supporters through their own channels following the tournament draw in December.
For each match in the four Swiss host cities – Basel, Zurich, Geneva and the capital, Bern - 750 tickets are reserved for local residents.
Following the example of last year's World Cup in Germany, a match ticket can only be used by the person who originally buys it. This move is aimed at facilitating the identification of possible hooligans and combating black market sales.
swissinfo with agencies
15 of the 31 Euro 2008 matches will be played in Switzerland and 16 in Austria.
Switzerland will play the opening match of the tournament at Basel's St Jakob's Park on June 7, 2008.
The final will be in Vienna on June 29.
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