As the excitement mounts ahead of England’s Euro 2020 semi-final clash with Denmark at Wembley, many fans are facing frustration in the race for tickets.
The Three Lions booked their place in the last four with an emphatic 4-0 win over Ukraine in Rome on Saturday night, the much-criticised Harry Kane netting a brace and Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson adding two more from set pieces in a dominant display from Gareth Southgate’s men.
Denmark had earlier eased through with a 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Baku and have found themselves many supporters’ second-favourite team in the tournament after their playmaker Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in their first game in Copenhagen, the near-tragedy drawing an admirable reaction from the team both on and off the field.
England will be delighted to be back at Wembley, where they played to 22,500 during the group stage, the stadium filled to 25 per cent of its capacity as part of the government’s Events Research Programme, which is trialling mass spectator games and monitoring Covid transmission with a view to wider reopening.
Capacity was increased to 45,000 fans or 50 per cent for the second round match with Germany, which England won 2-0, and 60,000 will be allowed in for the semis, upping the ante again to 75 per cent.
Approximately 8,500 new tickets have been put aside for England supporters who follow the national team home and away as part of a “fans first” initiative to reward loyalty, while 5,000 have been allocated for Danish supporters.
However, all tickets released by Uefa to the general public so far have been snapped up.
A tiny number of additional tickets are still due to be made available via the Uefa website’s ticket portal, although precisely when on Monday or Tuesday they will be put for sale is unknown.
Speaking to Sky News, Matt Willis of Football Supporters Europe says all is not lost: “Demand is through the roof. Especially with reduced capacity of 60,000 instead of 90,000, demand is obviously very high. You have got to be patient and determined with the UEFA portal. Don’t give up. Keep going. That portal is there and it’s active. Tickets drop in and out of that portal as and when they are available. Everybody wants to be part of this opportunity and this game. It’s really gripping the nation.”
Tickets are also being made available on resale sites, despite UEFA’s objections to the practice, but Willis preaches caution in buying from strangers online at wildly inflated prices, with The Mirror reporting fans baulking at one man’s opportunistic attempt to sell his match ticket for £20,000.
Sky’s expert also offers the long-shot suggestion of approaching fans of other teams who might have booked tickets to the semi in advance of Saturday’s results and no longer want them, like Ukrainian or Czech nationals.
Even the England players themselves are in difficulty, according to The Mirror, which cites one unnamed player complaining he is already being inundated with requests for help from friends and family on WhatsApp.
The majority of Danish fans are likely to face disappointment too because of the pandemic as only those who are already present in the UK are likely to be able to make it to Wembley given the 10-day quarantine requirement on new arrivals from what is, at present, an amber list country.
Those lucky ticket-holders who do make it into the stadium on Wednesday aged 11 or over will still need to prove that they are fully-vaccinated via the NHS app, with both doses received at least 14 days beforehand. Those who have not yet received both doses will be asked to show proof of a negative lateral flow test from the previous 48 hours.
For everyone else, the match is being broadcast on ITV from 6.30pm, with the nation’s living rooms and pubs expected to be jam-packed.
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