UEFA Euro 2012
England fans play it safe ahead of Euro 2012
A report in Thursday morning’s Independent newspaper suggests that 2012 could be the year that England supporters stay at home. England fans a apparently playing it safe ahead of the UEFA Euro 2012 Championships in Poland and Ukraine. A mix of reasons could be suggested for the lack of England fans expected to attend the 2012 tournament but most believe the current economy, the cost of flights and the huge distances between venues are the main factors accountable for the poor attendances expected during the tournament. There is also perhaps an underlying fear of violence and abuse (as reported on BBC programme Panorama) that has left families of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to confess that they won’t be attending this summers European Championships.
The Independent reports that the FA have only sold 3,000 tickets for each of England’s Group D matches despite receiving allocations by UEFA for approximately 7,500 tickets for England’s opener against France, and final group game against Ukraine. The report goes on to suggest that close to 9,000 tickets were allocated for England’s match in Kiev against Sweden but again, only 3,000 have sold, leaving the remaining tickets to be returned to UEFA for general sale.
With England renowned for always taking a healthy support to major tournaments including the World Cup and European Championships, it’s slightly concerning that the 2012 event could be sparsely populated by ‘Three Lions’ fans. Ticket sales are expected to rise slightly, with many fans preferring to travel independently and buy tickets when they arrive in Poland and Ukraine, but sales are still unlikely to reach the allocated number initially offered to the Football Association.