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Northern Ireland Euro 2016 tickets fiasco continues as sales portal opens early

By Steven Beacom and Jonny Bell

Published 02/03/2016

The die-hard Northern Ireland football fans are among the most loyal in the sport
The die-hard Northern Ireland football fans are among the most loyal in the sport

The Northern Ireland Euro 2016 ticket sales fiasco has taken another turn for the worse.

Die-hard Northern Ireland supporters were today hoping all would go according to plan with their second chance to purchase Euro 2016 tickets after missing out first time around.

Last night the IFA emailed those supporters on the priority list to inform them to expect an email from Uefa with information on how to proceed with their new ticket allocation on Wednesday afternoon.

The email said: "We expect that UEFA will open their Second Chance Portal for Northern Ireland fans tomorrow [Wednesday] afternoon.

"Tickets will be available on a first-come first-served basis. We advise that once you receive the email, you redeem any tickets you wish to purchase inside the first 48hrs as after this time UEFA will open tickets to the next group of fans."

However, the sales portal opened early in the morning without fans being informed and many were left stunned to find only high-end tickets remaining when they logged on to purchase.

One fan said he received an email from Uefa just before 10.30am advising him sales had opened.

He had to pay 120 euro for a ticket instead of the 55 euro he could have paid the first time around.

The Belfast Telegraph has contacted the IFA for a response.

There was fury last month when many fans high on the IFA's priority list were not successful in their applications for tickets for Northern Ireland's opening Euro 2016 group game against Poland on June 12 after a Uefa blunder.

Since then, following talks between Uefa and the IFA, an extra 1,276 tickets for priority fans were made available for the Poland game.

An additional 505 priority tickets for the Ukraine game (June 16) and an extra 93 priority tickets for the final group encounter against Germany (June 21) were also made available via the Uefa portal.

Last night the IFA started emailing those supporters on the priority list to inform them to expect an email from Uefa with information on how to proceed with their new ticket allocation.

An IFA statement said: "Eligible fans will be invited to purchase tickets for one or more of the three group games subject to individual priority and single ticket applications made during a previous fan portal application window. Tickets are being made available across all categories (price bands €20-€145) subject to availability per match."

It is understood fans will have 48 hours to purchase the tickets.

Gary McAllister, spokesperson for the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs had hoped things would go to plan the second time around.

He said: "We hope everything goes right this time. We've held talks with the IFA who say they have worked hard with Uefa on the extra tickets. We understand only people identified by the IFA will be contacted by Uefa."

The IFA say they will continue to ask Uefa for extra Euro 2016 tickets for Northern Ireland fans.

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