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'Unprecedented' demand for Ireland's Euro 2016 games as ticket allocation is confirmed

The Boys in Green will receive 16% of the stadium capacity for each game.

Ireland fans are expected to travel in large numbers.
Ireland fans are expected to travel in large numbers.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Updated at 21.36

IRELAND FANS FACE a battle to get their hands on tickets for next summer’s European Championships after the FAI’s allocation for each game was confirmed today.

Tickets for the tournament went on sale via Uefa’s online portal on Monday and already there has been ‘unprecedented’ demand from Ireland supporters.

Martin O’Neill’s side begin their Group E campaign against Sweden in Paris on Monday 13 June before facing Belgium and Italy in Bordeaux and Lille respectively.

Ireland’s travelling supporters will receive just 16% of each stadium capacity for the three group games.

The Boys in Green will receive an allocation of 13,000 for the first game against Sweden at the Stade de France, just 6,000 at the Stade de Bordeaux and 7,000 for the final fixture against Italy in Lille.

“The application process of issuing tickets for the three Group E games is open to all Republic of Ireland supporters,” a FAI statement read. “However, preference will be given to Supporters Clubs, Season Ticket holders, Fans Direct members, and supporters who have accumulated a significant number of points.

“Priority allocation will also be given to supporters from affiliated football leagues and more than 2,000 clubs that fall under their remit, Board and National Council members, Club Ireland members, Jack Charlton Lounge patrons, Sponsors, and players/staff.”

In addition to the above allocation, the FAI will be given a total of 2,000 tickets for the tournament and these will be distributed to ’unsuccessful applicants with a proven match attendance track record, and to the ‘football family.”

Tickets can only be purchased via Uefa’s official website, with the application process closing on Monday 18 January 2016.

Meanwhile, supporters group You Boys in Green (YBIG) have welcomed the FAI’s announcement but urged the association to clearly explain a number of the points made.

“In their statement today, the FAI have detailed that Irish fans will receive over 13,000 tickets for the opening game in the Stade de France against Sweden, with similar percentages of tickets allocated for the remaining games held in smaller stadiums,” say YBIG.

“YBIG members also welcome the news that the FAI will receive an extra allocation of 2,000 tickets. The FAI have indicated that these tickets will be prioritised to supporters with known travel records and members of the football family that may miss out in the initial ticket distribution.

“However, it is not clear what criteria will be applied in this or with the initial allocation. Members of YBIG have long called for the FAI to provide a clear and transparent ticketing methodology.

“The statement provides confirmation that preference for the allocation of ticketing will be given to a number of groups. This must be welcomed in helping supporters to understand how to maximise their chances of securing a ticket for the games.

“However, it appears likely that each of the groupings mentioned in the statement will be oversubscribed.

“It is not clear whether or not each grouping will have a quota of available tickets, based on previous FAI announcements.

“The FAI statement indicates that preference will be given to “Supporters’ Clubs, Season Ticket holders, members of Fans’ Direct and supporters who have accumulated a significant number of points”.

It is not clear whether all the above groups will be judged on the same criteria and be subject to the same loyalty points system, thus rewarding fans for their previous travel history.

“Under the previous allocation model, Supporters Clubs and individual supporters are eligible for 30% of tickets. This is significantly less than many other countries where long standing ticketing schemes are in place. In the case of the game in Bordeaux, this would see individual applicants/Supporters Clubs competing for 2,000 tickets.

“Given there are over 30 official Supporters Clubs and several hundred independent fans who travel away regularly, this should be clarified.

“The FAI statement also makes reference to a review of the pilot scheme that was in place for recent games. A number of hoped-for elements of the scheme such as the publication of supporters’ points have not been provided to date.

“YBIG members once again urge the Association to engage with stakeholders to ensure clear communication of the priority of ticket allocation.

“It is clear that given the huge interest in the tournament many supporters will be disappointed when the ticket allocation is announced.”

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Ryan Bailey

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