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Over 3,000 Irish fans face being locked out of Egypt clash over ticket distribution chaos

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Irish fans at the World Cup Italia '90, Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari on June 11, 1990

Irish fans at the World Cup Italia '90, Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari on June 11, 1990

Irish fans at the World Cup Italia '90, Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari on June 11, 1990

UP to 3,000 Irish fans face being locked out of Ireland's crunch match against Egypt, FAI chiefs warned last night.

The Irish organisers have delivered an ultimatum to FIFA organisers to sort out the ticket distribution chaos. FAI general secretary Dr. Tony O'Neill said fans were victims of bad administration compounded by black marketeering.

In the tickets row, Dr. O'Neill added that the same “bungling” left a few hundred Irish fans isolated amid several thousand English supporters in the first game in Sardinia.

Last night, he and FAI security officer Joe Delaney met with senior FIFA officials to demand an improvement in procedures for the remaining games. Mr. Delaney said Irish fans had been asked to pay £27 for a £9 ticket on the assurance that they would be safe.

"Then they arrived at the ground to find empty seats and very poor segregation.”

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Online Editors