Positive demand for football in the Philippines

Available tickets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between the Azkals - the Philippines’ national football team - and Sri Lanka on 3 July 2011 in Manila were sold out within two hours of being on sale. The game, which is the second leg of the first round World Cup qualifiers, will be played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Philippine Football Federation made 18,000 tickets available with 13,000 priced at P200 and P300. Bonnie Ladrido, chair of the game's organising committee, told The Inquirer that close to 90% of the total tickets, including higher-priced P2,000 and P3,000 grandstand tickets had already been sold.

Ladrido hinted at the possibility of more tickets being available after the painting of the bleachers is finished next week. "We will see if we can fit in more people,” he said. “But I don’t think the number will be significant.”

The Football Federation of Sri Lanka has been allotted 8% of the tickets as stipulated by FIFA, but Ladrido said it will be up to the SFF if they will use the ticket or not. “If they don’t, we will ask their permission if we can make it available to the public,” he said.

There had been concerns that the tickets were priced beyond the reach of ordinary football fans. “We were caught off-guard. We didn’t expect it to happen this fast,” Ladrido, admitted.