MP Rosena Allin-Khan has said the Football Association should give unsold England tickets to under-privileged schools after thousands of empty seats were starkly obvious at Wembley on Thursday.
As England qualified for the 2018 Fifa World Cup by beating Slovenia, just 61,598 of 90,000 seats – around two thirds – were filled at the national stadium.
Labour MP Allin-Khan said the governing body wasted an opportunity to give back to the community, though the Press Association Sport reported the FA and Wembley National Stadium Ltd distributed 7,000 complimentary tickets on Thursday, with 4,000 going to schools and the remainder going to community groups.
Allin-Khan told Press Association Sport: “There are children living in the most deprived estates in London who can see Wembley from their bedroom window.
“They’re aspiring to be the next Harry Kane but can’t afford to watch him even though the stadium’s half full.
“This can’t happen again. The FA knew they wouldn’t reach capacity — these unsold tickets should be given to our schools.
“In future, at the very least, the FA could give away a row of tickets to one school in every London borough.”
The 3,000 community group tickets went to those linked to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, refugee groups and faith groups. Meanwhile, The Zesh Rehman Foundation for diverse young people based in Tooting, Allin-Khan’s constituency, received 300 tickets.
Image: Jack Davison