Belfast Telegraph

Boss O'Neill hails Euro16 ticket boost for the fans

By Steven beacom

Over 4,000 more Northern Ireland fans than first expected will be going to the Euro 2016 finals, much to the delight of the supporters and manager Michael O'Neill.

Uefa informed the Irish FA yesterday that they were increasing Northern Ireland's total ticket allocation for the group games against Poland, Ukraine and World Champions Germany to 29,058 from the original figure of 25,000 - a rise of 4,058.

The IFA received 50,000 applications for Euro tickets and while demand still far outstrips supply, this is welcome news.

Northern Ireland fans will now have 6,816 tickets (up 816 from 6,000) for their first group game versus Poland in Nice on June 12, 12,726 tickets (up 1,726 from 11,000) for the second match against Ukraine in Lyon on June 16 and 9,516 (up 1,516 from 8,000) in Paris on June 21.

"We know that our supporters will provide incredible backing for the team out in France and the more that are out there the better," said Northern Ireland boss O'Neill, who won the Manager of the Year prize at Monday night's 2015 Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards.

"They were superb for us throughout the qualifying campaign and I'm certain the thousands of them travelling to the Euro 2016 finals will lift us during all our games."

The percentage of tickets on offer to Northern Ireland fans is still quite low in comparison to the ground capacity as Uefa enforce their own distribution procedures.

Other tickets must be distributed to fans of the opposing teams as well as to neutral supporters, officials and corporate guests.

The national associations are left to fight their corner to secure additional tickets.


Belfast Telegraph