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Lessons can be learned from Euro2016 ticketing – FSF Cymru

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

With some Wales fans missing out on tickets for Euro2016, FSF Cymru’s Paul Corkrey looks at the issues around ticketing for the tournament…

Wales were given an additional allocation of 4,177 tickets for their Euro 2016 group games.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) had received more than three times as many applications for Euro 2016 group matches than it had tickets but then UEFA increased Wales’ ticket allocation from 17,000 to 21,177 for the three Group B matches in June, which eased things a little.

A loyalty scheme was used by the FAW to send to UEFA to help with ensuring tickets were made available in the fairest way based on games attended, and membership.We also wish that it was one ticket per fan because allowing two tickets per member without knowing where the second ticket was going diluted the loyalty scheme by half or close to that.

The failure in our eyes was the fact that fans were not informed that the “Follow My Team” option was limited and therefore risky because you would get all or nothing and the fact that that type of ticket was only available at two prices Cat 3 which worked out at €765 plus €15 postage or CAT 1 tickets which cost a staggering €2,165 plus postage… obviously the huge majority went for Cat 3 and that was oversubscribed leaving some relatively high point scores missing out on tickets altogether.

As for the individual tickets again many opted for Cat 3 or 4 because they were the most affordable and again these became oversubscribed, luckily many were moved to Cat 2 but it meant that fans with lower loyalty points realised that they would struggle opted for Cat 1 tickets and got them ahead of people with far more points simply because they could afford them whilst the ones with more points could not.

Generally the FAW got it right and the vast majority of higher loyalty point holders got tickets but there were some anomalies and examples of fans missing out.The FAW have even contacted the UEFA ticket officers to see if they will allow more tickets to be released in the hope that the very hard done by who may have missed out for whatever reason can still get a chance of tickets. They are still waiting for a reply but the fact Northern Ireland secured extra tickets means there is still hope.

Finally the fact they demanded that applications had to be made by credit card and we are now finding out that some fans had applications succeed using DEBIT cards leaves many fans angry who set up credit cards accounts when they would have preferred not to.

The credit card situation also caused dozens of fans to get unsuccessful applications because between the time they applied for tickets in mid-January and the time the money was due to come out of their accounts, their credit cards were lost or stolen and they were issued with new cards and UEFA refused to acknowledge that and voided their application.

Looking at the mess that was made by UEFA for applications sent in from Northern Ireland and Belgium I think we should be grateful to Lucy Mason and her team for the work they put in at the ticket office to ensure the vast majority that should have had tickets did get tickets, whilst at the same time we have to accept that there would also be an exception to that rule and some fans have been very unfortunate, hopefully more tickets will be come available in March.

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