Friday, October 30, 2009

Tickets, please...

The first 49,000 tickets for the Ireland-France playoff second leg in the Stade de France sold out in hours last week, quicker than I expected. French football fans may have been heeding Raymond Domenech's call not to allow Irish fans to pack out the Stade de France, as they did five years ago (though the number then was no way 45,000, as L'Équipe and some other French media have reported). But it may well be possible that the tickets were being snapped up by opportunists to ultimately pass on to Irish fans for a handsome profit. Almost every Irish person (or even internationals supporting Ireland) I know bought the maximum four tickets. Whether this translates into a heavy Irish presence is unclear, as the French Football Federation appears resolute that the FAI's official allocation will remain at the minimum 8,500. There are 20,000 others reserved for football bodies within France and commercial partners - I noticed tickets being offered though my own place of work - and it's safe to say that some of these will end up in Irish hands too.

Speaking of opportunists one chap who arrived at Leclerc (a supermarket) in Val-de-Marne on his day off from said shop and produced a list of 80 'friends' whom he bought tickets for, ahead of everyone else in the queue. A disgruntled punter caught it on film (though it has since been taken down) and the french blogosphere is indignant. One wonders where his friends are going to be on the night of the 18th of November.

As for myself, what I previously thought was a non-negotiable work day turned out to be more flexible so I will be in the stands on the night, accompanied by a recalitrant Canadian who is insisting on supporting France. I'll get my revenge during the ice hockey at next year's Winter Olympics.


Robert Stone said...

Recalcitrant would imply your superiority, which would be illogical since I support the idea of a meritocracy. We are principled people; your team must earn my devotion through years of similar, and intimate, disappointment.

seanachie said...

By the time Vancouver comes along, I'll know how to say 'meritocracy' in Swedish, Finnish, Czech and Russian. ;)