England v Poland: 'Record away support' of 20,000 will roar on Poles in World Cup qualifier at Wembley

Polish FA calculates that expats will swell the travelling fans’ ranks to 20,000

England will line up at Wembley on Tuesday night for their crucial World Cup qualifier in front of the biggest away following at the stadium for any competitive game – around 20,000 Poland fans, according to that country’s football association.

It is the Polish governing body’s estimate that 20,000 Poles will be in the stadium after the original 8,000 ticket allocation given to them by the English Football Association sold out and a further 10,000 were sold by the FA to Poles in the UK and Poland. The Polish FA believes more will buy tickets in other areas of the ground.

The FA claims that once the 18,000 tickets were sold to Polish fans they only sold home tickets to English supporters who had bought tickets in the past, in order to keep the two sets of supporters apart.

The Polish fans are expected to be accommodated in the East Stand, the area of the stadium ordinarily used for away fans, with segregation in place. The FA believes the away support will contribute to the atmosphere on the night, and says that bigger allocations were given to away supporters for the friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Scotland this year.

“With high demand for tickets from the large Polish community in England, the FA took the decision, based on safety grounds, to ensure Polish fans were allocated space in a specific area of the ground, rather than attempting to buy tickets in home areas,” read an FA statement released last night.

The Polish football association spokesman Jakub Kwiatkowski said yesterday that Poland have a history of taking large away followings to games in which they have significant expat communities. The Polish FA estimated that there were 20,000 Poles in the 65,000-strong crowd for their World Cup group stage game against Germany in 2006 at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion.

Kwiatkowski said: “Knowing how many [Polish] people live in Great Britain, we know how many will attend this game, even though now we don’t have a chance to qualify. For a lot of people it’s a very, very big game and a very special game.

“I think there will be 20,000 Polish fans. It is England and its football story. On 17 October we will have the 40th anniversary of the [World Cup qualifying] game in 1973. After that result we started a golden era of Polish football, we qualified for the World Cup and finished third.

“Every time we play England, everyone thinks about this game 40 years ago. We don’t have a chance to qualify but games against England are very special. Every time we play in a country with a big Polish community... they live in England but the team from the motherland is your country. It is always better to go to work the next day and say to their English colleagues ‘We beat you’.”

Roy Hodgson called up Raheem Sterling over the weekend for tomorrow’s game. He is without the suspended Kyle Walker, who was booked during Friday night’s win over Montenegro. Poland, who can no longer qualify, will be without the suspended Lukasz Szukala, the Steaua Bucharest centre-half, who picked up a booking in the defeat to Ukraine.

With his team requiring just one win to finish top of Group H, Hodgson said he would be warning his players to guard against complacency until he was “blue in the face”. “I don’t imagine there will be any,” he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat