herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Anxious wait for rugby fans over France ticket refunds

FURIOUS Irish rugby fans left out of pocket following the Six Nations fiasco are still waiting to hear if their tickets will be refunded.

Up to 10,000 dejected supporters returned home from Paris after Ireland's clash with France was cancelled just minutes before kick-off due to a frozen pitch.

The fixture was due to re-scheduled today for early March.

However the news will come as little relief to thousands of supporters who shelled out hundreds of euro each on hotel rooms and expensive flights.

Fans were today waiting to learn if their tickets for Saturday's game will be honoured for the rescheduled fixture.

An IRFU spokesman said it was up to the French rugby authorities to decide if refunds would be paid or new tickets issued.

But many fans will struggle to make it back to Paris in March, having spent their savings to travel to the game on Saturday.

There was an estimated 5,000 Irish fans among the 80,000 who braved the -9C freezing conditions at the Stade de France.

And a further 5,000 Irish fans were gearing up to watch the game in the city.

However just five minutes before kick-off, English referee Dave Pearson called off the game due to a frozen pitch.

Loud boos and jeers rang out through the stadium.

And there were concerns today over whether fans who cannot afford to travel for the rescheduled match will receive ticket refunds.

It is also feared that many fans may have thrown their tickets away out of frustration.

The Irish Consumer Association called on airlines to offer fair deals to fans looking to travel next month.

An IRFU spokesman said: "We simply don't know. It is entirely up to the French federation with regard to refunds. The communication was that the game was being rescheduled, so tickets will be accepted for the second game.

"We've never been in the position where tickets had to be reissued or refunded."

hnews@herald.ie

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