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There Could Be Bad Euro 2016 Ticketing News On Its Way For Irish Fans

There Could Be Bad Euro 2016 Ticketing News On Its Way For Irish Fans
By Gavin Cooney

It appears the promise of tickets to loyal supporters may have proven to be false.

While the tickets have yet to be allocated for Republic of Ireland matches, fans from Northern Ireland were today billed for their tickets to the tournament and the distribution has led to the IFA receiving an abundance of angry phonecalls.

Gary McAllister, from the Amalgamation of Official NI Supporters Clubs, has said that the IFA have been inundated with messages from loyal fans who have missed out on tickets for their country's first appearance at a major tournament since 1986.

To establish loyalty, Northern Irish fans are awarded a number of points based on their attendance at games. McAllister, despite having 27 out of a possible 29 points, missed out on a ticket to the Poland match.

McAllister told Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio Ulster:

We have been swamped with messages from supporters, people who have travelled faithfully for many, many years to support Northern Ireland.

I am not glad that I haven't received a ticket, but people will know how many games I've attended.

Another caller poinmted out that he missed out on tickets while friends of his that did not attend a single game in the qualifying campaign successfully qualified for tickets.

The President of the IFA, Patrick Nelson has sympathised with the supporters who have missed out and has called on UEFA to sort out the situation:

Since we were alerted to the problem, I have been straight on to Uefa at high levels to discuss the issue relating to tickets which have been allocated that maybe should not have been allocated.

I have told them that supporters of many years standing have not received tickets for the Poland game and I have told Uefa they need to resolve this issue.

It is a major issue and it needs to be resolved straight away and have as positive an outcome as possible.

The IFA also released a statement, emphasising UEFA's culpability:

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UEFA are responsible for managing the ticket application process for EURO 2016.

The Irish FA spent three months working with fans and supporters’ groups to create a priority list based on attendance at Northern Ireland matches over the past two qualifying campaigns. That list was shared with UEFA on 29th January.

It was our understanding that the priority list would be the basis for all ticket applications for Northern Ireland’s group games at EURO 2016. 

We are currently asking UEFA how the list was applied, particularly in relation to the game against Poland in Nice.

Given the fact that the Republic of Ireland's matches are considertably over-subscribed - Ireland/Sweden had the second highest demand for tickets - it is worrying news for loyal Irish fans harbouring hopes of getting to games.

Should Republic of Ireland fans not endure similar issues, we can expect a triumphant John Delaney.

[BBC]

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See Also: Irishman's Anger At Liverpool Ticket Prices Is Getting A Hell Of A Reaction From Fans

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