Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Own Goals at Euro 2020

Own Goals

By now you will possibly be aware that there have been as many own goals in this tournament as in the previous fifteen (1960 - 2016) and that is not just in a footballing sense.

It was always a big ask for my team to qualify for the next round, but at least I could now enjoy the tournament without worrying that I wouldn't be able to go and see their next match.

In the last few days of the group stages there were plenty of rumours and posturing by politicians over the fact that games should be moved from the U.K. as the Government were refusing to relax restrictions.

My prediction that they would allow 60,000 at Wembley proved correct. But the reality was that they were never going to move it with the cost of the tickets being prohibitive. They would have had to cancel all the tickets for Wembley and resell them, do you know how much tickets cost?

Euro 2020 Ticket Prices

It is deliberately in small print so you can't read it. If you have to ask then let's just say you can't afford it.

On my journey up to the Scotland v Croatia game I managed to pick up a ticket to Italy v Austria at Wembley on the following Saturday. I knew there was a good chance of a ticket as they had just announced that on their app that Wembley would have an attendance of at least 50% of capacity. That meant an increase in capacity from 22,500 to 45,000. That meant they had 20,000 tickets to sell in five days.

So I was slightly surprised at the lack of people around Wembley before the game and the crowd of 18,910.

You would think with the reduced capacities that the attendances would be close to the maximum allowed. But for the two games I went to at Hampden the crowds were both less than 10,000 when the capacity was given as 12,500. For the three games I have been to at Wembley there were less than 20,000 at each when the capacity has stayed as 22,500 (or 45,000 for Italy v Austria).

With this tournament going ahead in these unprecedented times, UEFA had the vision to include a clause that allowed for a postponement of a game for up to 48 hours in the event that a team could not field a team due to Covid.

Interesting then that whilst Christian Eriksen was in hospital, with his condition unsure, that his team were given three options. Forfeit the game, play the next day at noon or carry on.

Manuel Neuer was threatened with disciplinary action after he wore a rainbow coloured armband in support of the LGBT+ community. UEFA publicly stated that they were looking into this before deciding, the armband has been assessed as a team symbol for diversity and thus for a 'good cause.' 

At the Italy v Austria game I was not aware of the offside before the disallowed Austrian goal. The only person that appeared to see it in the stadium was the VAR referee. As a paying spectator, it still does not seem right to me that something that you don't see in real-time is scrutinised in slow motion and that a decision is then made.

Despite my best efforts, I wasn't able to get a ticket for England v Germany, that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!

People that had tickets cancelled were told that they would be given priority to repurchase tickets if capacities were increased. As I had all the tickets I needed in the group stages I could not see how this was working. I had however heard that people had been sent emails to alert them that tickets were available, but that tickets had already been sold by the time people found out.

Own Goals


Tickets for games would just suddenly appear on the Euro 2020 app, and if you were not looking at the site you would miss the opportunity to purchase.

Another problem with buying tickets through the official channel was the white screen of death. Just before you get through to the page that would show you what tickets are available, the screen would freeze and nothing would show. After experimenting I found that switching from Wi-fi to mobile data just before pressing the button to enter the portal cleared this problem. It did mean I ended up using more data than I ever have but when you look at the difference in the ticket prices you will realise it was a tactic worth pursuing, as being slow to react to a sudden ticket sale could mean missing out or as the tournament progressed a big increase in the price of tickets available.

On the Sunday of the Round of 16, I realised something was happening on the site, suddenly tickets for the first semi-final were available and I managed to secure tickets for the first semi-final that I had lost tickets for in the ballot in May. Then I spotted that Final tickets were available…. The holy grail.

I patiently input my request only for my application to be declined.

Euro 2020 Tickets

Slightly frustrated but used to it by past experiences I waited for a text from my bank.

It takes more than ten minutes to go through the whole process again, so I was feeling more confident on my next attempt, but no, it was declined again.

By now the site was getting busier which meant that it was taking longer to access, which in turn meant more tickets would be being sold (if anyone could purchase them). I was able to apply for Cat 3 tickets at €295, if those sold out the next category was €595, and if those sold out €945. So time was of the essence.

Four hours, five declined transactions and three different cards used and I managed to purchase. Thankfully at Cat 3.

So whilst I won't be at England v Germany I will be back at Wembley for the last three games.

Ross Clegg footballtravelswithross.wordpress.com

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