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Local clubs caught in Wales ticket chaos

Created on 08/03/2011 @ 19:42
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Local football fans are among the thousands that have missed out on tickets to watch Wales play England later this month, prompting the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to issue a clarification on its policy.
The match is a75,000 sell-out and the ticket system hit the headlines last week after it was reported that 1,500 tickets had been sold in an area not being used.
The FAW had implemented a scheme for clubs to receive a ‘kick-back’ for buying bulk tickets and it appears to have been a runaway success with Gary Speed’s side playing in front of its first full house for seven years.
But Llanfair, Guilsfield and Abermule were among the local clubs left without tickets.
And tonight (Tuesday) the FAW has issued the following statement:
The Football Association of Wales would like to take the opportunity to clarify several misconceptions that have appeared in the media in regard to ticket sales for the Wales v England European Championship match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on 26th March 2011.
The original deadline for ticket applications for the match was 31st January 2011. All applications received by this date were processed and more than 600 football clubs in Wales took part in the sales through the ‘Kick-Back’ scheme, that has raised some £80,000 for the clubs, many at grass-roots level.
The deadline was then extended to 18th February 2011 on the understanding that this was a ‘first come, first served’ basis and subject to availability. The demand was such that the tickets did, in fact, sell-out by early February 2011. All orders received after this time were placed on a ‘stand-by’ list in the event that any further tickets could be released.
In the vast majority of cases, no money was taken from any of the individuals or clubs who were on ‘stand-by’, and certainly no tickets were issued to anyone that has subsequently been asked to be returned.
Some 7,000 fans have applied to the FAW for tickets for the match after the sell-out figure was reached. In many cases, individuals and clubs missed the second deadline all together, but still sent-in applications. As with any event, once the seating capacity has been reached then no further sales can be made, regardless of the public demand.
There was an administrative error made in one specific area of the ground that resulted in a number of applications having to be refused after having originally been told that the tickets had been secured. For this error, the FAW has already apologised and letters have been sent to all those affected. This numbers some 1,500 seats, split between Welsh and English fans.
The wildly inaccurate information that is currently circulating via the Internet in particular paints a distorted picture. The ticketing process that the FAW has adhered to is with the full backing of the South Wales Police, Millennium Stadium and our own auditors.
We recognise people’s disappointment at not being able to attend the game and would urge them to join the FAW member’s scheme that will guarantee them a ticket for matches in the future.
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