Northern Ireland

Euro 2016: Extra tickets allocated for NI v Poland game

fans
Image caption Northern Ireland fans are angry over the allocation of tickets to EURO 2016

Uefa has said it will make extra tickets available to Northern Ireland supporters who missed out on tickets for the European championships.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) had said it was "inundated" with calls from angry Northern Ireland fans unable to purchase tickets.

Some fans who said they ranked near the top of the IFA's 'priority list' missed out on tickets for the Poland game.

Uefa is allocating extra tickets for the Poland match.

Northern Ireland is due to play Poland, Ukraine and Germany in France in June.

More than 29,000 tickets have been allocated to Northern Ireland for the three games.

Earlier, Gary McAllister from the Amalgamation of Official NI Supporters Clubs said his phone had been "red hot" with messages from disappointed fans.

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Media captionSome fans spoke of their disappointment at the original allocation

The question was over a points system which was meant to establish a priority list, favouring fans who had attended the most matches at home and abroad.

Mr McAllister and other fans were now asking whether the loyalty scheme has been implemented correctly.

He missed out on a ticket to the Poland game, despite having 27 loyalty points out of a possible 29.

"We have been swamped with messages from supporters, people who have travelled faithfully for many, many years to support Northern Ireland," he told Radio Ulster's Talkback.

Image caption Supporters are questioning whether a loyalty scheme was used correctly to allocate tickets

"I am not glad that I haven't received a ticket, but people will know how many games I've attended."

The appeared to be a particular problem with the Poland match and fans said they wanted to know how the points system was used.

One caller to Talkback, Ian, said: "I have been to four away games in the last year and all the home games. That means not quite maximum points, but getting there.

"I have friends who have zero points in the same category and they got tickets.

"But I had 23 or 24 out of 29 points. The points did not mean anything."

Patrick Nelson, chief executive of the IFA, said: "We've been working for three months on a priority scheme with UEFA around the tickets that we've got for 2016 and obviously our priority is to our fans who follow us home and away."

He said the IFA ticketing team was working "to connect with Uefa at their level to make sure that the priority scheme is very well understood and we know exactly what UEFA have done".

"I got on to Uefa at the most senior level this morning to say that we were surprised and disappointed at the application of the priority scheme and that we needed them to look at this instantly and come back to me," he said.

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