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The latest phase of World Cup ticket sales descended into chaos and confusion on Wednesday after fans were left unable to access FIFA's ticket sales section. Hours down the line, after connections became more stable, fans discovered almost all initial tickets in the 'first come first served' sale had already been sold. Host city details on some matches were also incorrect, leaving fans scratching their heads in an effort to track down games of interest.

Some insight into the frustration of lovers of the beautiful game can be found on Soccerphile's forums. Note that people hunting for less popular games, such as those involving the Ivory Coast and Korea, are also having problems. FIFA reckons more tickets will become available thanks to returns and seat allocation changes, so all is not yet lost.

Servicing burgeoning demand for popular events where available tickets are scare and demand is high is never easy. But it's a shame FIFA hasn't taken into account lessons learned from the Glastonbury website ticket sales screw-up three years ago and the France '98 phone ticket sales fiasco. Many games during the last world cup played to half empty grounds. In contrast, ticketing arrangements for Euro 2004 in Portugal went far more smoothly. ®

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