FAI secure extra Euro 2016 tickets for fans - and there are more to come
The Football Association of Ireland have secured more tickets for Euro 2016 on the same day many Irish fans found out if their applications for the tournament were successful.
UEFA today took money from the accounts of successful applicants for the tournament in France this June and will continue this process over the weekend. This news will be welcomed by fans across the country, particularly those who have yet to have monies debited from their accounts.
"UEFA started the process of taking payments on Friday afternoon and it is anticipated that this could run over the weekend and into early next week," read an FAI statement.
"Today, an extra 832 tickets were released by UEFA to the FAI following a letter from the Association to European football’s governing body, in anticipation of an expected shortfall for supporters."
Over 270,000 ticket applications were made from Ireland for Euro 2016 with 16,487 available for the match against Sweden, 7,495 for the game in Bordeaux against Belgium and 9,720 for the final match in Lille against Italy.
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On top of the above allocation, the FAI will have another 2,000 tickets for each game and have said these will be kept back and distributed to fans with a history of supporting the team who miss out in the first round and the wider football family.
After securing the extra tickets today, the FAI stated that even more will become available in the coming weeks.
"The latest increase in allocation for Ireland supporters followed a letter by FAI CEO John Delaney to UEFA on Thursday, with UEFA giving assurances today that it would continue to add more tickets to the Irish number in the weeks ahead.
"UEFA assured the FAI that it will continue to seek out extra tickets, which may be returned from UEFA allocations for each match."
While a huge number of fans took to social media today to express their delight after having money for tickets debited from their accounts, there were a small number of well-travelled fans who have no pending transactions from UEFA on their credit cards.
While they will find some comfort in the news that UEFA are still in the process of debiting accounts, there is also the safety net of the 2,000 tickets that have been held back by the FAI.
"The FAI has 2,000 tickets in reserve, which were distributed by UEFA to all Participating National Associations. These tickets will be used to satisfy the demand from supporters with a proven match attendance record, who have missed out on securing tickets through the UEFA Portal.
"More than 275,000 tickets for this summer’s European Championships in France had been applied for by Ireland supporters for an initial allocation of just 26,000 tickets (in total) for the three Group E games against Sweden, Belgium and Italy," continued the FAI statement.
"Successful canvassing for extra tickets from the FAI saw that allocation number rise to 32,502, with today’s release bringing that number up to 33,334.
John Delaney said today that the bid to free up more tickets for supporters will the number one priority for the FAI in the weeks and months ahead.
“We are continually in talks and correspondence with UEFA for more tickets, and this policy has proven successful up to now,” he said.
“There are still 2,000 extra tickets which we will draw on to try and satisfy those who have missed out on the current process.
“I’d like to thank UEFA for its work so far in freeing up more tickets, but we, of course, would like more.
“Republic of Ireland supporters will represent one of the biggest groups of supporters at EURO 2016, and accordingly we have a huge fan base to try to satisfy.”