Of those 1.6 million, about 70 percent are overseas applicants, meaning 500,000 applications were received from residents of host nation South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent.
This contrasts starkly with six million applications received at the same stage of the sale phase ahead of the 2006 finals in Germany.
But it is a disappointing return from Africa and suggests that while the continent might be hosting the World Cup, it is not really participating fully in this historic event.
But while South Africa has built impressive-looking stadiums, spruced up its infrastructure and spent way above what was originally budgeted, the majority of its regular football fans are not going to get a chance to see the tournament.
FIFA might point to the fact they intend to give 120, 000 tickets away to the poorest of the poor but for the rest, the prices, even at US$20, mean going to the games is out of the reach of the common folk this World Cup was suppose to touch.