Friday 15 December 2017

Looking for a ticket for Ireland v Bosnia? Here is how to get them

Republic of Ireland supporters
Republic of Ireland supporters

Ireland face Bosnia in a two-legged clash next month for a place in Euro 2016 and one of the big talking points has been the ticket situation.

With many games failing to sell out this campaign, it's a good situation to be in for chiefs in Abbotstown and the good news for fans hoping to catch the second leg, which will be played at home in the Aviva Stadium, is that tickets will go on general sale next week.

"The Football Association of Ireland would like to announce that tickets for the Republic of Ireland's UEFA 2016 European Championship Play-Off Second Leg game versus Bosnia-Herzegovina on Monday, November 16 at Aviva Stadium will go on public sale on Tuesday, October 27," reads an FAI statement.

The away leg will be a different matter however.

Last year the FAI came under much scrutiny for their distribution of away tickets for the game against Scotland in Glasgow with many regular away travellers not getting a ticket.

Following that match, John Delaney and the FAI promised to introduce a new scheme, called Fans Direct, to ensure the same issues do not crop up again.

"The First Leg of the Play-Off will take place on Friday, November 13 in Bosnia-Herzegovina in a venue yet to be officially confirmed. The Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina have until October 25 to confirm the match venue," continued the FAI statement.

"In advance of any such official stadium announcement, the FAI has requested a 10 per cent overall ticket allocation for the First Leg match. Under UEFA regulations away teams are guaranteed five per cent of the overall ticket allocation, but may apply for an additional five per cent. This application is subject to the discretion of the home association."

The FAI added that tickets will be distributed under a new scheme that was piloted for the away games against Gibraltar and Poland.

However, a spokesperson for, a supporters group that challenged the FAI after the Scotland game, told that the new scheme doesn't do enough.

"Under the new scheme, there are just 30pc of the tickets set aside for 'Supporters Clubs and Fans Direct'. That is actually a decrease of over 20pc from the allocation for Glasgow," said a YBIG spokesperson.

"It means more tickets are going to be allocated to sponsors and leagues and it is the regular fans who travel all over the world to see Ireland who will miss out.

"We believe those who travel regularly to see Ireland play should be rewarded for their loyalty. This system is employed all over Europe and worked to perfection when the Welsh played Bosnia recently."

Under the new scheme, tickets will be allocated as follows:

• 55 per cent will be distributed to supporters from affiliated football Leagues and more than 2,000 clubs that fall under their remit, Board and National Council members, players/staff, Club Ireland members, and Jack Charlton Lounge patrons.

• 30 per cent will be allocated to independent supporters who are members of Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporter Clubs or Fans' Direct.

• 15 per cent will be provided to supporters travelling with the FAI's official travel partner, Abbey Travel. These supporters have their details of match attendance at away games logged should they ever decide to apply independently for tickets.

While members of Supporters Clubs don't need to have a proven track record of travelling to secure a ticket, members of Fans Direct do.

"A points system is the fairest way but under the FAI scheme, only independent fans will be judged on this. Why are one section of the fanbase treated so differently? There should be one fair system for all, like there is in most countries," added a YBIG representative.

Allocations to independent supporters registered with Fans' Direct are made on a points based system. This system collates data from Autumn 2012 (the start of 2014 World Cup qualification) and supporters have been awarded points on an individual basis as follows:

• 70 points for a Season Ticket purchased for each season from the 2012/13 season

• 20 points for each away match attended since September 2012

• 10 points for each single home match attended since the 2012/13 season (if not a Season Ticket holder)

Allocations to Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporter Clubs will be based on the numbers of season tickets held by each club and divided accordingly among Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporter Clubs.

Within the 30 per cent of away tickets allocated to Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporter Clubs and Fans' Direct, away tickets will split on a pro-rata basis based on season tickets held by Supporters' Clubs and the number of members registered with Fans' Direct.

Should any tickets remain after they have been offered to Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporter Clubs or Fans' Direct, they will be offered between these groupings, who will have first option on any remaining tickets.

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