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   02 June, 2002 | 1430 IST



France get the blues

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Tickets available through FIFA site

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Japanese organisers of the World Cup have started to sell thousands of "unsold" tickets through the Internet, they said on Sunday.

Officials of the Japanese organisers JAWOC said about 2,600 tickets for Sunday's match between England and Sweden were made available on the website of soccer's world governing body FIFA.

The officials declined to say why the tickets remained unsold, but the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said the tickets could be those allocated to foreign soccer associations but were unpaid.

The JAWOC officials said an unspecified number of "unsold tickets", if any, for other matches would be sold through the Internet on match days.

Thousands of seats at two stadiums -- one in Niigata and the other in Sapporo -- were empty on Saturday when Ireland played Cameroon and Germany played Saudi Arabia.

The JAWOC officials refused to explain why the seats were empty. "We have no clear answers," one official said.

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