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IFA give out more invitations to big party

By Graham Luney

Published 26/09/2015

An extra 1,500 people will be in Windsor Park for the vital European Championship qualifier against Greece next month
An extra 1,500 people will be in Windsor Park for the vital European Championship qualifier against Greece next month

Northern Ireland fans will converge on Windsor Park in bigger numbers for the crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Greece next month, but the big game will not be beamed live to supporters on the big screen at Belfast City Hall.

The international venue will be bouncing for the clash on Thursday October 8 and the Irish FA have invited more fans to the party.

Last month's home game against Hungary had an attendance of 10,200, but the capacity has now risen to 11,700 for the Greece game.

Supporters will scramble to get their hands on the extra 1,500 tickets in the hope of cheering Michael O'Neill's men on to the finals in France next June.

Capacity at the National Football Stadium has been reduced considerably for recent Uefa Euro 2016 qualifiers due to the ongoing redevelopment project at the ground.

However, the Irish FA and the building contractors, O'Hare & McGovern, have been able to secure more seats.

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson weclomed the increased capacity.

"We are delighted we are able to provide many more Northern Ireland fans with the opportunity to see the game live," said Nelson.

"After all, this game could provide a moment in history that we as a country can build on, not just through football, but by giving the people of Northern Ireland something to unite behind."

The extra tickets for the Greece fixture will only be available to fans on the Irish FA's mailing list.

Supporters will be sent a priority link to purchase tickets. Fans can sign up at: www.irishfa.com/mailinglist.

Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis from 10am on Thursday, October 1.

Tickets will be limited to two per applicant/transaction.

They are priced at £40 each and are subject to a Ticketmaster booking fee.

While the Green and White Army will be in fine voice at Windsor Park, hopes that the Greece match could be shown in the grounds of City Hall have been kicked into touch.

The final qualifier against Finland on Sunday October 11 will also not be shown at City Hall.

Nelson added that the move would not have made financial sense.

He added: "After consulting with commercial partners as well as Belfast City Council it quickly became apparent that the costs involved in putting on such an event were prohibitive, and in any case we now have 1,500 extra tickets available for supporters to see the game live at the National Football Stadium."

Belfast Telegraph

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