England score a ticket own goal for vital World Cup qualifier against Poland
FA's decision to boost away allocation means almost one in three supporters at Wembley will be Polish
England will face a wall of noise from Poland fans for Tuesday's must-win World Cup qualifier after the Football Association decided to increase the visitors' ticket allocation to ensure an 85,000 sell-out.
Around 18,000 Poland fans have already purchased tickets for the game, which England must win to ensure qualification for next year's tournament in Brazil. That figure is much higher than is required to be given to away fans but the FA surprisingly decided to more than double the 8,000 tickets allotted to the Polish FA in order to tap into the large numbers of away supporters seeking tickets.
Tickets to England-based Poles were eventually capped at 10,000 after the allocation was quickly sold out. Last night a spokesman defended the decision, saying it was based on security concerns. He said it made sense to ensure that all away spectators were catered for in one area, and was similar to recent friendlies against Scotland and Ireland.
"We are happy with the arrangements," he said, admitting that when 17,000 corporate sales are taken out, almost a third of the supporters at Wembley will be following Poland.
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