2012: the year when England's support decided to stay at home


England will play their Euro 2012 games in front of only a few thousand of their fans, with the Football Association having sold only 3,000 tickets for each of their group games.

Panorama: Stadiums of Hate – a Polish fan’s response from the stands

The FA received allocations of roughly 7,500 tickets for their games against France and Ukraine in Donetsk, and 9,000 for the Sweden match in Kiev. These tickets were offered to the official membership group of 28,000 England fans, and after 5,000 individual applications only 3,000 were sold this way to supporters. The remaining tickets were returned to Uefa's general sale.

That figure will not be the full extent of England's support at the European Championship, but it does point to a noticeably low demand for tickets. While the FA does hope that as many as another 10,000 England fans travel independently and buy their own tickets, recent official figures anticipate only another 2,000 England fans at the France and Ukraine games and another 3,000 against Sweden.

"It's partly the economic background, as a lot of people are feeling the pinch," explained Kevin Miles, the international director of the Football Supporters' Federation. "Then you've got the fact that although it is a European Championship, there is the cost of some of the flights – it's not like nipping to Portugal or Holland and Belgium where recent tournaments have been."

The challenges of playing all three group games in Ukraine are also relevant. "It is a country with huge distances," Miles said, "and with pretty basic infrastructure, which makes getting around very difficult.

"There are other things you can do with the money," Miles continued. "Donetsk is not the Algarve. Whereas in Portugal in 2004 you could take the family on a package holiday, and nip to Lisbon for a match on the train, there are not many families who are going to thank you for a fortnight in Donetsk."

The FA, anticipating these concerns, is not surprised or disappointed. But the result is that England fans, usually a dominant presence at any international tournament, will be outnumbered. The England games, like the other group games in Ukraine as well as those in Wroclaw in Poland, have not yet sold out. Uefa insisted yesterday that it was confident all the stadiums would be full, and that there were only a few tickets left to be sold.

There has been strong interest, ever since the first round of sales in March 2011, from Ukraine and Poland and a heavy local presence is likely at each of England's group games. There are thought to be more Ukrainian and Russian fans attending England's group games than English fans themselves. This will be even more apparent when England play the joint-hosts in Kiev.

England's fans will likely be outnumbered by those from Sweden for the game in Kiev on 15 June. Official estimates predict as many as 19,000 Swedes in the Olympic Stadium, with the Swedish association having sold closer to 8,000 of their official allocation.

Sweden, unlike England, are one of a number of countries with a camp for their fans to stay in. There will be one in Kiev, where they are playing all of their games. Not run by the Swedish association, but by Camp Sweden, the campsite is within two miles of the centre of Kiev, and provides facilities for up to 10,000 Swedish fans to stay.

This is not the only such venture. The Danish association has built a fan camp in Lviv, where they play Portugal and Germany. The site will provide transport to the games at a relatively low price. They are expecting over 3,000 fans for their two games there.

The Netherlands will have a similar set-up. They will play all their games in Kharkiv, and have sold between 4,000 and 6,000 tickets for each one, and are expecting nearly twice as many fans in total. There will be a Dutch fan camp in Kharkiv, run by Oranje Camping, who have been working closely with the Dutch association.

The FA has no equivalent facility in Ukraine. Miles said that it was an issue of culture. "The Swedes and Dutch have a campsite everywhere they go, they always set up camps. English fans just don't camp in the same way."

Panorama: Stadiums of Hate – a Polish fan’s response from the stands

Travel plans: Rival nations' ticket sales

Group B

Denmark 2,500 tickets sold for game with Netherlands in Kharkiv, with 3,000-3,500 for the Portugal and Germany games in Lviv.

Netherlands Between 4,000 and 6,000 sold officially for the three group games against Denmark, Germany and Portugal in Kharkiv, with between 8,000 and 10,000 expected to travel in total.

Portugal 3,800 expected for the game against Germany in Lviv, with 3,000 for the Denmark match in Lviv and 2,700 for the Netherlands game in Kharkiv.

Group C

Republic of Ireland 6,000 Irish fans expected at all three group games, against Croatia, Spain and Italy in Poznan and Gdansk.

Group D

England 3,000 tickets sold by the FA to the official supporters group for group games against France, Sweden and Ukraine. Another 2,000 England fans expected for France and Ukraine games in Donetsk and 3,000 for Sweden in Kiev.

France 1,900 tickets sold for England game in Donetsk and 1,800 for Ukraine and Sweden matches in Donetsk and Kiev respectively.

Sweden Close to 8,000 tickets sold for all three group games, all in Kiev, with as many as 19,000 expected for the England match.

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape