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Irish FA chief: I've felt the pain of the Northern Ireland fans

Now Patrick Nelson hopes extra tickets will ease frustration

By Steven Beacom

Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson has admitted that he felt the pain of frustrated and angry Northern Ireland supporters during this week's Euro 2016 ticket fiasco.

The IFA announced yesterday that Uefa had handed over another 437 tickets for Northern Ireland's Euro clash with Poland on June 12 in Nice. This added to the first extra batch released on Tuesday, after hundreds of top-ranked supporters in the IFA's priority scheme had missed out on the initial allocation for the match.

In total there are now 1,276 more tickets for Northern Ireland supporters than they started with after Uefa effectively bowed to fan pressure.

While not making an apology to supporters who have had a difficult week, Nelson said: "I feel the pain that they have had this week. We have gone through that rollercoaster with the fans and for the fans.

"I understand the frustration of the fans and shared in it this week. The work we have done this week was because of the frustration of the fans and we wanted to fix it. I believe we have done that."

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