Argentina friendly sold out in ticket frenzy

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022 Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the trophy as he celebrates winning the World Cup REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Tickets for Argentina’s first game since they lifted the World Cup sold out as more than 1,500,000 people tried to buy them despite high prices in a country battling with rising inflation.

The match between Argentina and Panama will be played on March 23 at the Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, the largest in the country with capacity for 83,000 spectators.

Ticket prices, ranging from 12,000 to 49,000 Argentine pesos ($59 to $241), did not dampen demand with a virtual queue of 1,550,000 people.

The desire to watch Lionel Messi’s side also spread to local and international press with Argentine Football Association President Claudio Tapia saying the game had generated the “highest media demand in history” with over 131,000 accreditation requests.

“We’d love to be able to fulfill all of them, but we’d need two River (Monumental) stadiums, just for journalists. The madness for Argentina is absolute,” Tapia said on Twitter.

The friendly will be Argentina’s first game in front of their fans since beating France on penalties in last year’s World Cup final in Qatar to win the title for the first time in 36 years and spark massive celebrations across the country.

Argentina also host Curacao on March 28 in the province of Santiago del Estero in front of 30,000 fans.

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