Irish soccer supporters have scored a 'worldie', after an important announcement from the FAI.
For a few years now, supporters groups such as YouBoysInGreen and the Confederation of Republic of Ireland Supporters Clubs, have been trying to persuade the body to free up more tickets for Irish supporters travelling to see the national side in fixtures abroad.
And this afternoon, word has come from Abbotstown that the 40% slice fans have oft times struggled with, has been increased to 65%.
NEWS | Supporters to receive 65 per cent allocation in new ticketing structure
Also confirmation that Ireland will play Gibraltar at Victoria Stadium on March 23
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— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) January 25, 2019
Until now, the Irish 'football family' ringfenced 45% of the total allocation, with travel partners Abbey Travel claiming 15% for their customers. This was in stark contrast to the majority of footballing nations, with countries such as Northern Ireland and England ensuring that up to 95% of tickets available were siphoned to fans.
A statement from YBIG welcomed the news and pointed to the work that had been done "to rebuild a working relationship with independent fans", whilst the CRISC called it "a great boost for Irish supporters"
The increased allocation will first be implemented at the away game with Gibraltar on March 23rd.
It was confirmed this morning that the opening game of Mick McCarthy's second spell at the helm will take place on the British Overseas Territory, despite the minnows previously having used the Estadio Algarve in neighbouring Portugal in order to comply with UEFA standards for international matches.
The Gibraltarians have been locked in negotiations with UEFA to take matches to their 2,300 capacity Victoria Stadium, on The Rock. The FAI have secured 800 tickets for the travelling support - with more Irish expected to make the trip to the Mediterranean for the first game of the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying campaign.