Women's World Cup kicks off in France
According to the organizers, almost one million tickets were sold for the Women's World Cup before the start of the tournament.
In the largest and - FIFA, the governing body of football, hopes - the best Women's World Cup so far, France plays against South Korea at the Parc des Princes in the first of 52 games.
The host nation hopes to emulate the success of the men's team in Russia last year and make history by becoming the first country to have both World Cups at the same time. Among the 24 participating teams, France is one of the favorites to win the tournament, just ahead of the holders, USA. UU
Organizers say they have sold 950,000 tickets, including 6,500 tickets on Wednesday alone, approaching their goal of one million, despite the problems with ticket printing and some fans who bought tickets together discovered they had split up. So far 20 of the 52 games are sold out.
"In the host cities, the fever is really coming," said Gianni Infantino, president of Fifa.
The head of the local organizing committee was optimistic in his response to criticism for the lack of atmosphere and marketing in Paris. "It's a FIFA Women's World Cup," said Erwan Le Prévost. "The main objective is to fill the stadiums and have the largest TV audience possible."
Get off a plane or train in Paris and there is still no air of anticipation that you would expect from a great championship final. Apart from the faces of the captain of the host nation, Amandine Henry, and the star striker, Eugenia Le Sommer, looking from the strange cover of newspaper and magazine, it would be difficult to know that the tournament is about to begin.