Brazil 2014 Q&A: How to get World Cup tickets
Here's what to consider when booking flights, hotels and match tickets in football's 'spiritual home'
BRAZIL here we come. England booked a place at the 2014 World Cup last night, which means many fans will be scrambling to book tickets, flights and accommodation today. But what are the pleasures and pitfalls awaiting those making the trip to cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo? The press have plenty of suggestions:
Internal flights cost a fortune
ITV News says "sky-high" internal fares will hit England fans hard. Those wanting to travel by air from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo, where the opening match is due to be held on 12 June, are facing return air fares as high as £720, it says.
There are few alternatives to flying at Brazil's "spread-out" World Cup. One of the venues is Manaus, in the Amazon rain forest. It is 2,700 miles north-west of Rio, "leaving fans with little option but to take a flight", ITV News says. Fortaleza, the most northerly venue, is 1,670 miles from Rio and more than 2,500 miles from Porto Alegre – the most southerly venue.
Airlines are already cashing in on World Cup fever. A ticket from Rio to Sao Paulo on Latin American carrier Avianca costs twice as much on 12 June than the same journey a month earlier.
So does accommodation:
A room in an Australian backpacker hostel in Ipanema usually costs £70 a night. During the World Cup it will be bumped up to around £450 per night. Ouch.
Crime and violence is rife in major cities:
Brazil's image as a non-stop carnival belies the "high levels" of crime and violence in major cities, described by the Foreign Office website. It warns that visitors should be "particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods" and says bank card fraud is "common".
On the other hand, the "growing strength of the economy and improved infrastructure" means the country is "safer and easier to travel around than ever before," says the Daily Telegraph.
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Getting tickets to games may be tricky:
England fans began applying for tickets to the World Cup well before Wayne Rooney scored the first goal against Poland last night. Almost 100,000 England fans have applied for tickets so far and last night's qualification will prompt another surge.
The bad news, the Telegraph says, is that around a third of the 3 million-plus World Cup tickets went on sale between 20 August and Thursday of last week. There have been more than 6 million applications from around the world (4.4 million of them from Brazil) forcing Fifa to hold a random draw. The good news is that the remainder of the tickets do not go on sale until 5 November on a "first-come, first-served basis until a new closing date of 28 November". Fans can apply on Fifa's ticketing website.
The atmosphere will be brilliant:
England have booked a place at "the last truly romantic World Cup," says the Daily Telegraph. Brazil is the game's "spiritual home" it says and although mass protests against the extravagance of Brazil's staging of the contest have removed some of the sheen, 2014 may still be remembered as "the last purely romantic World Cup: a nod to the Brazilian heritage, which we all bang on about, but probably barely comprehend".
There's lots to see besides football:
From the "futuristic architecture" in Braslia to the "immense wetlands of the south that rival the Amazon for biodiversity", there's plenty to see besides familiar landmarks such as Copacabana beach. Check out this guide to Brazil's less-well-trodden sights for some ideas. ·