Roy Keane and Shane Long have put the boot in on Uefa’s decision to allocate just 4,604 tickets to Republic of Ireland supporters for today’s Euro 2016 knockout clash with hosts France at the Stade de Lyon.
With a capacity of just under 60,000, those Irish fans lucky enough to actually secure entry will be heavily outnumbered by their French hosts when the game kicks off at 2pm Irish time.
“It’s scandalous really, considering how good our support is,” said Long who, like the rest of Martin O’Neill’s playing squad, has large numbers of friends and family here in France eager to be among the lucky recipients.
“Hopefully they’ll find ways around this, but it’s just frustrating,” said the striker from Gortnahoe in Co Tipperary.
“They come over in their droves, in their thousands: To be fishing around for tickets is not nice.”
An estimated 70,000 supporters have travelled over at some point or other for the group stages, which saw the team draw with Sweden in Paris, lose to Belgium in Bordeaux, and register a famous victory against Italy in Lille.
Assistant manager Roy Keane also said it seemed unfair for supporters.
“Someone said we’ll have 3,000 to 3,500 and the capacity is 58,000 — it does seem a bit lopsided. You’d expect the home nation to have gotten an extra few but that’s a lot more. It’s unfair, particularly the way they’ve travelled and what they’ve brought to the tournament.”
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