herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

JOHN Delaney has admitted that the FAI "made mistakes" and "let down" fans in the ticket fiasco which has left hundreds of regular Republic of Ireland supporters without tickets for the crunch Euro 2016 game away to Scotland in two weeks' time.

JOHN Delaney has admitted that the FAI "made mistakes" and "let down" fans in the ticket fiasco which has left hundreds of regular Republic of Ireland supporters without tickets for the crunch Euro 2016 game away to Scotland in two weeks' time.

Even though attendances have slumped for home games - under 15,000 paying punters for recent friendlies with Turkey and Oman - there is massive interest in the Scotland qualifier with 10,000 ticket applications from Ireland fans. The FAI received the official allocation of 5% of Parkhead's capacity (3,029 tickets) but many loyal fans have been left ticketless.

At least 70 fans who made the long and expensive trip to Georgia last month have contacted supporters group YBIG to state that their applications for tickets were turned down. The FAI do not have a loyalty system in place to reward fans who travel regularly to away games, a system that most associations and major clubs operate.

And now, a week after the story broke as fans received confirmation/rejection emails from the FAI ticket office last Friday, FAI CEO Delaney (left) has admitted that the association have handled the issue badly.

"There certainly were mistakes made by us," Delaney said, promising that a 'liaison officer' would be appointed by the association to deal with fans' groups.

"Loyalty should be rewarded and I accept that there were certain mistakes from our side. I see that loyal fans have been let down by us. I think in terms of the hardcore supporters there was an eye taken off the ball.

"And we will get it right the next time, when we appoint this liaison officer to deal with the fans who have been let down. The next big game away will be Poland and we'll try to get it as right as we can for that one."

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