Soccerooettes, female supporters of the Australian national team, prior to the start of their side’s World Cup Group D match against Germany at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa. (Robert Cianforne/Getty Images Europe)
(AP) JOHANNESBURG — The overall attendance at the World Cup was the third highest in history, behind the 1994 tournament in the United States and the last World Cup in Germany.
FIFA, world football’s ruling body, said in a statement Monday that 3.18 million fans attended the 64 matches in South Africa. The average attendance was 49,670.
The ’94 World Cup in the U.S. — where 3.59 million watched the games at the stadiums — still holds the record. In Germany four years ago, 3.36 million attended.
Organizers in South Africa acknowledged concerns over fan attendance leading up to the tournament before eventually agreeing to sell match tickets over the counter — a friendlier method for locals.
FIFA also said the average number of goals per game in South Africa was 2.27, down from 2.30 in Germany and 2.50 goals per game in Japan and South Korea in 2002.
Copyright 2010 by the Associated Press