Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
©INPHO/Billy Stickland Munster fans at The Stoop on Sunday.
# Red Army
Harlequins launch investigation after Munster fans' invasion of The Stoop
The Premiership champions were not impressed with “supporters” selling their tickets to travelling Irish supporters.

HARLEQUINS HAVE LAUNCHED an ticketing investigation after their quarter-final defeat to Munster at The Stoop on Sunday.

The Aviva Premiership champions issued a statement on their website stating they were ‘very disappointed’ that almost half of fans at their Heineken Cup tie were supporting Munster.

15,000 supporters crammed into The Twickenham Stoop at the weekend to witness a Paul O’Connell-inspired Munster defeat ‘Quins 18-12 and move into the semi-finals.

Munster supporters were allocated 3,750 tickets but, as it was clearly seen to those present and on television, travelling fans had closer to 7,000. One Munster fan that was at the game told the split was closer to 60/40.

The Quins statement reads, “A total of 15,000 people were an essential part of an historic day for the club, which is very disappointed that a bigger share of those present were obviously not Harlequins’ supporters, despite the club’s best efforts to ensure that they had priority in the ticketing process.”

Even Oscar, the Munster mascot, got a ticket. (©INPHO/Billy Stickland)

At no stage did tickets go on general sale to the public. 2,080 tickets went to Harlequins’ sponsors corporate guests, community clubs, players, staff and official charities. 750 went to the ERC and the tournament sponsors.

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

That left 8,520 tickets for Harlequins supporters but there is no way such a number was present, unless they were wearing Munster red and cheering every time Ronan O’Gara slotted over a penalty. The statement continues:

It was obvious from 90 minutes before kick-off that Munster’s well organised and wonderful supporters had a presence in the stadium that exceeded the number of tickets officially allocated to them. The colourful and vocal support they gave their talented team during the match provided further evidence of this if it was needed.

“Given the controlled manner that tickets were made available for the match, it is clear to the club that many of its “supporters” sold their tickets on to opposition fans.

“To say that this is disappointing for the players, coaches, management and staff of the club is an understatement.”

The Harlequins statement concluded, “The club is determined to identify any person that sold on his or her ticket and will ensure that last Sunday’s outcome is not repeated.”

Sayonara Stephen! Ferris ready for Japan adventure as Ulster admit defeat

Strauss looking to deliver knock-out blow to Munster’s Pro12 hopes