Strict ticket limit for Euros
Only 5,000 official tickets will be made available to England and Republic of Ireland fans for Euro 2012 quarter and semi-finals.
Last Updated: 02/12/11 7:17pm
Only 5,000 official tickets will be made available to England and Republic of Ireland fans for Euro 2012 quarter-finals and semi-finals should their teams make it that far.
England were drawn in Group D of the tournament on Friday against hosts Ukraine, France and Sweden, while Ireland will go up against world champions Spain, Italy and Croatia in a tough Group C.
Normally, UEFA reserves 20 per cent of stadium capacity for each competing nation.
However, in recognising the logistical difficulties in getting around two large countries, where the transport network is not as sophisticated as that in western Europe, the continental governing body has opted to reduce numbers.
"We have reduced the capacity of supporters to 5,000 each," confirmed Martin Kallen, UEFA's operations director for Euro 2012.
"It makes it easier logistically than when we have 20% of the capacity for each finalist.
"With England there is not this problem but some countries do not have as many supporters and we want to give local people a chance to ensure we have full stadiums."
It means around 1,000 fewer tickets will be available than would normally be anticipated for such showpiece occasions.
Indeed, travelling could turn into a trial for fans wanting to see the semi-finals, the first time when teams who will have played exclusively in one country could find themselves having to go to the other.
Road signage is a specific issue in Ukraine, with many signs currently in Cyrillic only, although Kallen insists this will be rectified by next summer.
Considering there was a threat to strip the country of half its games and the final at one point, so far behind in construction did they fall, it is with some relief Kallen is now able to reflect on tournament planning that is virtually on schedule.
"We came a long way in the past three or four years and it has been a very interesting last 12 months. Now we are in good shape," he said.
"Maybe we thought we might not be as far (along) as we are now. But I have been in this business for a long time.
"It is always a struggle. It is nothing new."