England team to play part in refunding fans who travelled to Poland


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The Independent Football

England supporters in Warsaw who stayed on an extra day to watch the game against Poland will have their ticket cost reimbursed by the Football Association and the England Footballers' Foundation, the charity supported by the players. Steven Gerrard and Co will therefore part-fund the £50,000 money-back scheme.

It means that those who watched yesterday will effectively get a free ticket to offset the extra cost of staying. Those among the 2,500 original travelling support who had to go home early and missed the match will be reimbursed by the Polish football association. All 2,500 will be invited by the FA to an open England training session at either Wembley or St George's Park.

It was estimated that 600 who came out for the original fixture on Tuesday stayed out an extra day in order to watch the postponed match. Chris Ormonde, 23, from Birmingham, who works in stock management, made the decision on Tuesday night to pay an extra £150 to the travel company running his trip in order to stay out another day.

"It's more days' holiday which will be unpaid. I will have to sacrifice holiday elsewhere. My flight home is to Manchester now instead of Gatwick and I'll get back at midnight. I don't have any idea how I will be able to get home. Why did I stay out? Good question. It's what I do. If I had been at home watching it on TV, I would have been hating every moment."

Chad Thomas, 21, a carer who lives in Doncaster, said that he had spent around £250 on staying the extra day – £100 for his flight, £100 for two nights' accommodation and £50 spending money. "I have got the day off work and I would have been at home anyway," he said.

"I have come out here to watch England and that is what I want to do."

John Pannell, 21, a student from Hereford said he had spent around £200 extra staying out, on flights, accommodation and on a train from Luton airport to Gatwick, where he had originally flown out from. "A few of my mates texted me, taking the mickey that I had spent all this money and wouldn't see the game. I thought, 'I want to stay out and see this match'."