India will not have any representation on the field at the Fifa 2014

PANAJI: India will not have any representation on the field at the Fifa World Cup later this year in Brazil but there will be a significant number of Indians in the stands at each of the 12 venues.

Fifa has confirmed that 2,662 tickets have been allocated to residents of India for the World Cup 2014 giving the country - ranked 156 in the world - some presence at the biggest sporting spectacle on earth.

"So far, 2,662 tickets have been allocated to residents of India," Fifa's media department told TOI.

Unlike previous editions of the World Cup where India had a representative in official duties - K Sankar (assistant referee, 2002), Priyaranjan Dasmunshi (match commissioner, 2006) - India will have to take heart with the biggest ever contingent of fans and journalists. Besides the fans, at the last count, 27 Indian journalists, including two photographers, were accredited for the tournament.

"Everyone wants to go to Brazil. The thought of a World Cup in Brazil would excite any football fan," said a senior All India Football Federation (AIFF) official.

There is huge demand for World Cup tickets from India and the AIFF is finding it difficult to please everyone with its 290 ticket quota that every non-playing member association is entitled for. 250 of these tickets are for group stage matches while ten tickets each are reserved for semifinals, third-placed match and final.

AIFF allocates tickets on formal requests from state association. Tickets for semifinals and final are normally handed on a priority to executive committee members and club owners.

This time around, the AIFF is learnt to be having a couple of "excess" tickets for some explosive matches like Germany vs Portugal (June 16, Salvador), Costa Rica vs England (June 24, Belo Horizonte) and Nigeria vs Argentina (June 25, Porto Alegre). These tickets were initially sourced by Bengal but hastily returned.