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Sunday 4 December 2016

Bosnia just the ticket for fans

Bosnian fans can enjoy home play-off leg for bargain €10

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill

It's a case of no fan left behind for next month's Euro 2016 play-off tie away to Bosnia as the FAI believe that they will be able to cope with the demand for tickets from Ireland's travelling support.

But Bosnian supporters have expressed alarm at the ticket prices for their fans who want to attend the Dublin leg of the play-off, with a price tag of €50 for those Bosnian supporters travelling to Dublin.

There were early fears of a ticket scramble for the game in Zenica, 70km from the capital Sarejevo, due to the limited capacity of just 10,500 and Ireland supporters, who travelled in large numbers to the most recent play-offs in Tallinn and Paris, feared they would be left without tickets for the game.

The Bosnian FA last night confirmed that they would provide the FAI with 850 tickets for the away leg, the minimum requirement under UEFA regulations.

High

The FAI had initially asked for 1,200 tickets for the game in Bosnia but indications are that the 850 allocation will be enough for the green army, as many fans were put off the trip to Bosnia by the high cost of flights.

"We had asked for more than the minimum requirement but as things stand we don't see a problem and it looks like our fans will be looked after," an FAI source said last night.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Irish fans did not take up the full allocation for tickets for the away qualifiers in Faro or Warsaw, almost 1,000 tickets returned for the away game in Poland after the Polish FA offered the FAI 3,800.

The Bosnian FA will put tickets on sale to home fans next week but they are charging bargain prices, with tickets going for €20, €15 and €10, so some of their supporters have expressed dismay at the ticket price of €50 for the game in Dublin.

The Bosnian FA have been given 2,500 tickets for the Dublin leg of the play-off but with travelling support from the Bosnian community in the UK and other parts of Europe, they hope to have a strong support in Dublin.

The FAI have already opted for the Irish team to stay in Zenica instead of the capital Sarajevo with the Irish team's hotel just 600 metres from the match stadium, but due to restrictions at Sarajevo airport, Martin O'Neill's squad cannot fly out immediately after the game, as is the custom, and will instead fly home the day after the match.

O'Neill held a meeting with his backroom staff in the English midlands yesterday to fine-tune his plans for the play-off battles and he will be keen for updates on the fitness of Shane Long, Marc Wilson and Shay Given over the next week.

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