Johannesburg - FIFA has reported that a scramble for tickets ensued on its website following the launch of 2010 FIFA World Cup tickets globally on 20 February 2009.
"Twenty-four hours after the online tickets went on sale, applications from 128 countries for 216 975 tickets had been received via the website, excluding the hard paper applications handed in by South African residents at FNB branches in the host country," FIFA confirmed.
The biggest number of orders came from South Africans, followed by applicants from Great Britain, the USA, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and Argentina.
FIFA Honorary Vice-President and Chairman of the FIFA Ticketing Sub-Committee, David Will said the response globally has been fantastic.
"These are fantastic numbers, underlining yet again the fervour taking hold around the world for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first on the African continent.
"It is very exciting and further evidence that the global football family want to be part of this unique event on this very special continent," Mr Will said.
Fans have until midnight on 31 March 2009 to make ticket applications on the www.FIFA.com website.
In addition, South African residents have the opportunity to file a hard copy ticket application in one of the 700 FNB branches across the country.
Mr Will said he is ecstatic about the phenomenal response of football fans around the world to the start of ticket sales for the World Cup in South Africa.
2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said: "It reinforces the faith of the global football fraternity in South Africa.
"We stand ready as a country and a continent to warmly welcome the world in 2010."
FIFA explained that irrespective of the date of ticket application forms, all applicants have the same chance of being able to get tickets due to random selection draws during certain ticket sales phases.
In case of over-subscribed matches a random selection draw will be organised on 15 April to allocate tickets for over-subscribed matches. All applicants will know by the end of April 2009 whether they have been successful or not.