11/05/2011

IFA Reduces Northern Fan's Travel Costs

The soccer authorities have held firm on exclusive arrangements for NI fans travelling to the forthcoming Carling Nations Cup matches in Dublin.

However, while fans must still use only official coaches, the Irish Football Association (IFA) has now discounted travel tickets - by close to a quarter - in response to an outcry by supporters clubs across NI who met earlier this week to agree a boycott of the matches.

A statement today said: "Due to the limited uptake of tickets for these [Dublin] matches, the Irish FA has decided to extend the deadline for ticket applications by Block Bookers and NI Fans Plus members to 4pm on Tuesday 17 May."

Additionally, the statement said: "In line with advice from the FAI, Gardaí and the PSNI and in the interests of the safety and security of our fans, the sale of match tickets will remain linked with transport to Dublin and the existing arrangements whereby Northern Ireland fans will arrive at a staging post on the outskirts of Dublin prior to transferring to the Aviva Stadium will remain in place."

However, the spokeswoman continued: "The original transport fee was based on upwards of 5,000 supporters travelling, and the expected costs in securing coaches from within and outside Northern Ireland and ensuring adequate personnel was made available to ensure the smooth and secure transport of supporters.

"Based on current booking figures, it is now apparent that numbers will be substantially less.

"This will mean that coaches can now all be sourced locally and personnel required to manage this operation will be substantially less, and as a result we are pleased to advise that the cost of the coach ticket can be reduced to £22 per supporter," she said.

"Refunds will be organised for those supporters who have already booked and provisions will be made for supporters who are travelling from outside Northern Ireland and those who had already booked accommodation before these arrangements were announced."

Block bookers and NI Fans Plus members should visit: www.irishfa.com

See: IFA To Discuss 'Travel Solution' For Matches

(BMcC)

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