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FAI apologise over claim fans too drunk to use tickets

The Football Association of Ireland have apologised to Republic of Ireland supporters after they were inadvertently e-mailed about “contested” fan behaviour at last November’s Euro 2024 qualifier in Amsterdam.

The e-mail referenced what the FAI say are “elements of feedback from the night” that included Irish fans apparently attempting to enter without valid tickets and some supporters having “excessive alcohol/substance intake”.

It stated “many supporters presented in a concerning manner with some unable to access their phones to access tickets” due to alcohol or substance use.

It also stated only 50% of Irish fans were in the stadium two minutes before kick-off.

However, the governing body did say the feedback is “contested”.

In a statement the FAI said: “The e-mail referenced elements of feedback from the night with a number of sections of the feedback contested, in particular relating to alleged fan behaviour.

“There were a number of issues accessing the stadium which the FAI highlighted to the KNVB with many supporters delayed gaining entry ahead of kick-off.

“Information was gathered following interactions with the KNVB and insight from our Supporter Liaison Officer, with the findings outlining multiple reasons for the issues that occurred before the game.

“This included a thorough, but as a result, slow security search on entry, a lack of clear signage, issues with access, as well as complications with ticket scanning.

“The FAI has expressed disappointment in how certain aspects of the match-day operation affected the Irish supporters, and the FAI will continue to work with UEFA and opposing nations ahead of all upcoming away fixtures to ensure the safety of our supporters and to provide all the support we can.

“The FAI would like to apologise for any offence caused to our supporters regarding the response in question but also wants to stress, once again, the excellent behaviour and patience of our supporters during this game and our away games in general.”

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