Fans at John's son's games in ticket hunt
OVERLY eager Irish fans are attending football matches being played by John Delaney's nine-year-old son, Thomas, in a bid to get tickets for Euro 2012.
Sources have told the Herald that fans with a misplaced sense of enthusiasm have been going to matches where his youngster's team has been playing to try and nab the FAI chief.
The situation got so bemusing recently, coaches at the child's school in Waterford wondered if Mr Delaney was bringing an Irish star as a guest.
"One of the more recent games was so well followed that the kids were sure Robbie Keane or Shay Given were coming to the game," explained an insider.
It is expected that up to 20,000 Irish fans will part with their hard-earned cash and travel to Gdansk and Poznan to take on the powerhouses of European football.
The FAI yesterday revealed that they have managed to up their allocation for each group game against Croatia, Spain and Italy by over 700 per game to almost 6,000 tickets for each clash. The association has said it will explore every avenue in order to secure the maximum amount of tickets for Irish fans, but including corporate and travel agent commitments, it will distribute fewer than 10,000 tickets per game.
"Anecdotally, we are hearing that up to another 10,000 Irish supporters will make their own way to Poland, but most will be without tickets," said Mr Delaney.
Ireland has already received 16pc of stadium capacity for its matches in Poznan and Gdansk, equating to around 6,000 tickets per group game. "Following discussions with the FAI, UEFA has agreed to release 2,300 additional seats for Irish supporters over the three matches," said Mr Delaney.
"When the FAI receives further details from UEFA in the coming days, these seats will be allocated to the list of supporters who have been already been given passwords to register through the FAI portal on UEFA.com.
"In total, for the three games we'll be receiving a little over 20,000 tickets, which is about 7,000 tickets per match," said Mr Delaney. "Our applications have been greater than that but at least it's something.
"We'll keep trying, I haven't given up yet. First of all we have to wait and see how the Italians and Croatians manage their take up of the tickets for our games. If there's any of their allocation left over, those tickets come back to us.
"We'll know that in early March. I wouldn't be hopeful of Croatia or Spain, I think they'll take good numbers, but there might be some left over from the Italians.
"If there are, they come immediately back to us. It's important we get as many Irish fans into the ground as possible. That's what we want, that's what the players want and that's what the management want."
The FAI is confident more than 35,000 fans will be at the Aviva Stadium tonight for Ireland's friendly against the Czech Republic.