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Derek Wong
Friday, Jun 13, 2014

Sports

Would you pay $112,600 to watch the World Cup?

The New Paper | Derek Wong | Friday, Jun 13, 2014

Mr Singh's tickets to the World Cup final. He prizes them so much that they are kept in a safe.

The bill for visiting Brazil to catch the World Cup for a group of four Singaporeans came up to some $51,600 - and that is not including airfare and accommodation.

Throw in the cost of air tickets and staying in Brazil for seven nights and their bill rockets to some $112,600.

But it is money they are happy to spend.

For one of them, the tickets are so precious that he keeps them in a safe.

The businessman, who wanted to be known only as Mr Singh, 56, and his three close friends bought hospitality packages for the competition from world football governing body Fifa back in December 2011.

Mr Singh told The New Paper: "As soon as I was offered the opportunity, I decided immediately to go and sent my money to Fifa straightaway."

Mr Singh and his friends shelled out about $12,900 each to catch one semi-final game in Sao Paulo and the final in Rio De Janeiro.

They will fly business class with air tickets costing $13,000 each and will stay in five-star hotels costing $500 and $750 a night for each of the two rooms they have booked.

Why splurge so much?

"It is every man's dream," said Mr Singh as he took the prized tickets out from a safe to show them to this reporter.

He added: "I have worked all my life and this is my reward."

The die-hard Manchester United fan has attended three Champions League Finals featuring his beloved team and has made the pilgrimage to Old Trafford seven times.

He had also been to games at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Another football fan who will be making the trip to Brazil, albeit on a much lower budget, is Mr Marcus Tan.

For three weeks, the 23-year-old will live in youth hostels, which cost $30 to $70 a night.

Mr Tan and his girlfriend, Ms Wong Jia Min, 23, will catch two group games in Salvador.

The Singapore Management University business student completed his exchange programme in Mexico last month and has extended his stay in the Americas to catch the World Cup.

He managed to get tickets from Fifa for around $170 each.

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