THE welfare of England fans was the key reason behind the decision to award Poland an allocation of 18,000 tickets for tonight’s game at Wembley, the Football Association have announced.
Under governing body Fifa’s rules away teams are entitled to a 10 per cent share of the stadium’s capacity for their travelling fans.
However, with the initial 9,000 tickets only available through the official Poland supporters club it was feared a large number of fans who live in England may have purchased tickets to sit amongst home supporters.
Consequently, the FA decided to double Poland’s official allocation, as it did for the visit of Scotland in August, and hopes the match will now pass off incident-free.
“Due to the level of demand for tickets from the large Polish community in England, The FA took the decision to ensure Poland fans were allocated properly segregated space,” a statement read. “In order to assure the safety of all supporters, The FA wanted to prevent a situation where demand for away tickets significantly outstripped supply, leading to Poland fans seeking tickets within the home section.
“Tickets went on sale on 9 August to englandfans members. Further tickets then went on general sale on 21 August and a Poland-specific area was made available as an option for people to choose.
“Once it became clear this area would sell out in advance of home end tickets, all further sales in the home end were restricted to people who had purchased tickets to previous England matches.
“Many Poland fans are also British citizens and some will have purchased tickets for England internationals in the past and would consequently be eligible to buy tickets in either section.
“The stadium is used to managing fixtures with high proportions of fans from two different teams. We are confident with the system we have in place and work closely with the police to ensure that there is an appropriate safety plan in place.”