Fans' fury at ticket rationing

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S World Cup euphoria was tempered yesterday after it was revealed that only 2,049 tickets had been allocated to supporters for the knock-out match against Argentina on Tuesday.

The allocation will be England's smallest yet of the World Cup and will mean the vast majority of supporters who want to see the game in St Etienne will again have to deal with ticket touts - who were asking up to pounds 700 a ticket for England's 2-0 victory on Friday against Colombia.

Last night the Football Association said it was negotiating with Fifa, the game's governing body, to increase the allocation, but admitted that, even if Fifa made a concession, the increase would not be that big.

The bulk of tickets will go to the French market under a controversial plan which has seen 60 per cent of tickets for all matches sold to residents of the host country.

The FA believes that, because the competition has reached the knock- out stage, demand for Tuesday night's game may be even greater than so far experienced. The FA's security advisor, Sir Brian Hayes, said: "There is no doubt that the distribution of tickets has been a failure - it has broken down completely."

Alison Tillings, spokeswoman for the Football Supporters Association, said: "The whole ticket distribution system has worked against ordinary fans."

It emerged yesterday that an English supporter, Roy Chapman, 38, from Essex, was killed after being hit by a car in Calais on Friday night walking to the ferry.

Meanwhile, British embassy officials said that 74 England supporters were detained on Friday - most for drunk behaviour- but that only 16 were still in custody.

One English fan had been sentenced to two months in jail for an assault on a policeman.