More than 10,000 tickets for the match between Argentina and Hong Kong were snapped up when they went on sale yesterday, raising hopes of a good turnout.
Hong Kong Football Association chairman Brian Leung Hung-tak said he was not disappointed by the sales figure, considering prices ranged from HK$1,800 to HK$250 (concession tickets) for the international friendly slated for October14, No breakdown of the figures was given.
"There are almost two months to go before the match and so there's plenty of time for the fans to buy the tickets," said Leung. "When match day draws close and the squad is announced, I am pretty sure the fans will have little hesitation purchasing the tickets."
With the cost of staging the match approaching a whopping HK$30 million, the FA needs close to a full house to break even. Argentina, the 2014 World Cup runners-up, have never visited Hong Kong and if the likes of superstar Lionel Messi make the trip, organisers believe it should be enough to attract the fans despite the tickets being the highest-ever priced for a soccer match in Hong Kong.
To guarantee the top South American stars' appearances at Hong Kong Stadium, there is a clause in the deal saying at least 15 players from their Brazil World Cup squad must attend, with stiff penalties if that requirement is not met, particularly in the case of Messi.
The match is part of celebrations for the HKFA's 100th anniversary.
It will also serve as preparation for the Hong Kong team before they take part in the East Asian Football Cup qualifiers in Taiwan in November.