Euro `96: More tickets put on sale

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The Independent Online
The Euro 96 organisers yesterday announced a change in ticket sales policy to allow spectators easier access to the remaining games.

The new arrangements allow fans to book tickets using the tournament's telephone "hotline" and then collect their tickets at the box office on match-day. Tickets are also being sold direct from club box offices up until the day before a game and from city-centre venues on match days. Originally, tickets had to be purchased five days in advance and there were no match-day sales.

However, fans should not expect applications to run smoothly. It was announced that tickets for the Wembley quarter-final on 23 June were available via the "hotline" - but a call was met with confusion. "It's a sell-out," a salesman said. "There is nothing on our computer screens." However, you can get tickets at pounds 56 and pounds 75 each by going to the Wembley box office in person.

Glen Kirton, the tournament director, said: "The good behaviour of fans has made it possible to review our ticketing policy. These arrangements have been drawn up in conjunction with the relevant authorities."

The move should ease some of the criticism aimed at Kirton's organisation about the number of empty seats around the grounds. The average attendance at the first eight games was officially 83 per cent of capacity. The real figure was somewhat less, due to the fact that foreign football federations had bought tickets on a non-return basis.

Those unsold tickets count as sold in attendance figures, but are represented by rows of empty seats in actuality. "It's something that's beyond our control," a Euro 96 press spokesman said yesterday. "They [the foreign federations] are ultimately accountable."

GROUND-BY-GROUND AVAILABILITY: Villa Park: Scotland v Switzerland (Tues 18 June); Quarter-final (Sun 23 June): Limited number of tickets available via hotline and in person from club box office. Anfield: Czech Republic v Italy (today); Russia v Czech Republic (Wed 19 June): Tickets available up to 1pm on match days at the ground. Old Trafford: Russia v Germany (Sun 16 June); Quarter-final (Sun 23 June); Semi-final (Wed 26 June): Limited number of tickets available via hotline and in person from club office. Hillsborough: Croatia v Denmark (Sun 16 June): Tickets can be purchased at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre up until 4pm on match day. Turkey v Denmark (Wed 19 June) As above until 2.30pm on match day. City Ground: Portugal v Turkey (today); Croatia v Portugal (Wed 19 June): Tickets can be purchased up until 2.30pm on match days at Notts County FC. Elland Road: Romania v Spain (Tue 18 June): Tickets can be purchased up to kick-off at the Civic Centre, Leeds, and Leeds Railway Station. St James' Park: France v Bulgaria (Tue 18 June): Tickets can be purchased up until kick-off at St James' Metro station car park. Wembley: Quarter- final (Sat 23 June). Limited number of tickets available in person from Wembley box office.

HOTLINE NUMBER: 099 099 1996.