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Monday, July 12, 2010
Attendance trails only 1994, '98

Associated Press

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 people watched 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.