UEFA admits to ticketing problems in Euro Cup

June 23rd, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 23 (DPA) UEFA Monday admitted that ticketing problems had resulted in the stadiums not being filled for some of the matches at Euro 2008. The director of communications and public affairs of Europe’s governing football body, William Gaillard, said that although all the games had been sold out, some seats had been empty.

“There were again some empty seats in Sunday’s quarter-final clash between Spain and Italy. This happens because teams that have received tickets have not returned them to us. When we were made aware of this, we tried to sell them, but could not manage.”

He said that as a result, UEFA had decided to restrict the ticket allocation to Russia and Italy for semi-final matches.

“Obviously this will make no difference in the case of Italy, as they have been knocked out, but Russia will only receive 4,000 instead of 6,000 tickets for their semi-final game against Spain.”

A spokesman for the Euro organising committee said that they would be speaking to the four semi-finalists to try to ensure that the ticketing problems which resulted in empty seats, would not be repeated.

“I do not, at this stage, want to give details how we are going to solve the problem,” Wolfgang Eichler said.

When tickets for Euro were first offered earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of football fans failed to secure one, partly because the stadiums in Switzerland and Austria are so small.

The German football association alone had 2,630,027 applications for tickets - more than double the amount of total tickets for the tournament.

Gaillard said that UEFA was considering a more flexible ticketing system for the 2012 Euro in Ukraine and Poland.

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