England football fans have expressed their disappointment after it was announced that the Football Association is to hand a fifth of its paltry ticket allocation for the FIFA World Cup group game against Belgium to officials and commercial partners.
England’s national football body was given just 2,119 tickets for the match on June 28, which represents around five per cent of the 35,000-capacity Kaliningrad Stadium.
However, around 400 tickets from that allocation are to be given to sponsors and officials.
Fan Lee Richards told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “How fans can be allocated 1,659 tickets for a World Cup match is astonishing.”
Long-serving supporter Michael McFarlane wrote of his “disappointment” at his failure to obtain a ticket on the England fans’ forum. He said: “I’m disappointed, I’ve got 38 caps, did Portugal 2004, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and France 2016, and still didn’t get Belgium tickets.”
The FA has 2,816 tickets for this summer’s opening game in Russia against Tunisia and 2,855 for the match with Panama.
Almost five million tickets were requested in the most recent sales phase for the 2018 World Cup, which ended in late January.
Most applications came from the host nation with 2.5 million, while Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Spain, Peru, Colombia, USA and the Netherlands make up the top 10 countries. Overall, international demand accounts for 49 per cent.