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FAI Address Criticism Over Ticket Allocation For Ireland/Wales

FAI Address Criticism Over Ticket Allocation For Ireland/Wales
By Gavin Cooney
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Ireland's World cup qualifier with Wales on March 24th has flitted around the outer edges of our consciousness for months, given both the magnitude of the occasion, and the fact that Ireland are flying in the group. We sit atop Group D, with ten points from twelve, having only played Georgia at home thus far.

If you have yet to secure a ticket to the biggest qualifier at the Aviva since 2015 then we have some bad news: the FAI today confirmed that the game is a sell-out. The Welsh tickets went on general sale in a bundle with the Iceland friendly tickets (that game takes place four days later) back in November, with the FAI reporting today that they sold out in "record time". The rest of the tickets were distributed on pre-sale to season ticket holders, supporters clubs, and what the FAI term "Club Ireland members, Jack Charlton Lounge patrons, Football Family and Sponsors".

The same statement addressed the criticism the FAI faced from Welsh fans concerning their ticket allocation for the game in Dublin. Welsh fans were upset at the percentage of tickets they were given for the game. UEFA rules stipulate that at least 5% of tickets must be given to away supporters.

Wales fans are receiving 3,500 tickets for the game at the Aviva, which is 6.4% of the ground's capacity. Ireland are receiving the same number for the away game, which will probably take place at the Cardiff City Stadium. That ground's capacity is  33,280, meaning Ireland's allocation for that game is above 10%, which is generally believed to be the polite percentage agreed between nations.

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The FAI addressed these  concerns in the statement:

Also, to clarify on the ticket allocation to Wales supporters, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) reached an agreement with the FAI last November to provide 3,500 tickets for the game in Aviva Stadium. The same number of tickets would then be allocated to the FAI for Ireland supporters travelling to Cardiff in October.

That agreement may have been canny on the part of the Welsh F.A. Ireland's trip to Cardiff is Wales' final home game in qualification, and are yet to formally confirm the Cardiff City Stadium as the venue for that game. That is interesting, given that they have booked that ground for all of their other group games.

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There is a feeling among the Welsh press that Wales are leaving open the possibility of playing the final game at the 70,000-capacity Principality Stadium (formerly the Millenium Stadium) should they have anything major riding upon that game. And, interestingly, 3,500 tickets would represent exactly 5% of the larger stadium.

Watch this space.

See Also: Celtic Youngster Loaned To Aberdeen Deletes Account After Old Tweet Resurfaces

 

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