Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

All-ticket game doesn’t make sense for fans

Can the IFA explain why the CIS Cup Semi-Final between Coleraine and Dungannon at The Oval has been made all-ticket?

Matches in England or Scotland are usually designated all-ticket if there is a perceived risk of more fans turning up than the ground has capacity for, or to assist segregation.

There is sadly no chance that The Oval will be filled beyond capacity, so the only other reason would be to assist segregation.

There has never been any problems at previous matches between Coleraine and Dungannon, so that can hardly be foremost in the minds of the match planners.

In any case, experience tells us all-ticket does not lessen the chance of crowd trouble.

The decision is all the more bizarre given that in the quarter finals, the two games between Linfield and Glentoran — a fixture which has seen some regrettable crowd trouble in the past — were both pay-at-the-gate, as was the recent Co Antrim Shield Final between Linfield and Crusaders.

The IFA should be doing all it can to encourage fans to come to matches, not place obstacles in the way.

STEPHEN BARR

Portstewart

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