The ticket wars continue. Some of you may remember John Delaney expressing his fury at the "bad-mannered" SFA for allocating a mere 3,209 tickets to Republic of Ireland supporters for the November 2014 qualifier in Celtic Park. This represented a measly 5% of the overall capacity of the stadium. 5% represents the absolute minimum allocation an away team can receive under UEFA rules.
Now, Ireland are accused of being stingy towards their neighbours.
The Football Association of Wales today disclosed that they've received an allocation of 3,300 tickets for the 2018 World Cup qualifier in the Aviva. While a tiny bit more generous than the Scots, this still only represents 6.4% of the Aviva capacity.
The FAW had allocated Irish fans a rather more generous 3.500 tickets for the return fixture in October. This is all the more generous when one considers that the game is fixed for the 33,280 capacity Cardiff City Stadium rather than the Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium).
Vince Alm, the head of the Cardiff City supporters club, is furious. While 5% may be the UEFA specified minimum, Alm cites the existence of a gentleman's agreement which stipulates that 10% is the proper amount.
We’re outraged really. We’re really disappointed. We’re normally offered 10% on a reciprocal basis. The gentlemen’s agreement has always been 10%.
Alm told Wales Online that he believed that Wales were being penalised over the size of their home ground. The intimate Cardiff City Stadium can accommodate 18,000 fewer spectators than Lansdowne Road and 41,000 fewer spectators than the other more dazzling amphitheatre in the Welsh capital.
We want to play at our home stadium, which is the Cardiff City Stadium. It’s not as big as the Aviva but that’s where we’re at and they should respect that.
A proper football ground is the Cardiff City Stadium and it’s no coincidence we’re playing better there.
Unless the FAI softened their position, then Alm argued the Welsh should throw out a hard line themselves.
If they do this we should do the same thing as them and cut their allocation to 6%. It should be a tit for tat basis.
I am hoping they see common sense before making the announcement because there will be twice as many Wales fans outside the stadium than in at the moment. We don’t want to make it worse.