Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: UEFA's own goal

It is farcical that Northern Ireland fans could find themselves being financially penalised for supporting their national team. But that is what could happen if the forthcoming European Championship qualifier against Serbia goes ahead behind closed doors. It is estimated that it would leave die-hard Northern Ireland fans a total of £6, out of pocket in lost airfares and hotel charges. The fans booked their flights and accommodation long before Serbia were punished for rioting by their supporters at a match against Italy. The local fans are blameless in the whole affair and the sensible solution would be for UEFA to refund their expenses. In a game awash with money, it is time the fans were rewarded for their loyalty, not penalised.

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