If you wanted some signs to show that next month’s Euro 2012 play-off will not be as straight forward as everybody thinks, then just look at the scenes in Tallinn on Monday afternoon.
All 10,000 tickets for the massive game on 11th November in the A.Le Coq arena were snapped up within 25 minutes according to the Estonian Football Association. The FAI have been handed just 1,400 for the crunch game but the home fans were keen to secure their seat for what is being described as Estonia’s biggest ever game. They have never even made a play-off let alone a major tournament and the severity of the game has been emphasised by the frantic chaos in Tallinn as fans desperately tried to buy tickets.
Tonu Sirel, secretary general of the Estonian FA, warned that anyone who bought a black market ticket would be disappointed on match-day.
“The ticket is property of the Estonian Football Association, and if someone who buys one violates the rules by re-selling the ticket at a higher price, we can declare it invalid,” Sirel said.
Although Ireland fans do not have a troublemaker reputation, the strict sales controls are also meant to keep home and away supporters apart, a standard rule at most internationals.
“If Irish fans enter a stand not designated for them, we have the right to remove them from there, which we will do,” Sirel said.
The return leg is on 15th November in Dublin and thanks to the Aviva Stadium’s 50,000 capacity it should be a little easier to get your hands on tickets but they are expected to be all snapped up, so go to fai.ie to secure your seats.