Northern Ireland fans are threatening to boycott the Aviva Stadium for the Carling Nations Cup next month over transport issues.
Supporters of Nigel Worthington’s side have reacted angrily to the news that they can only have tickets if they arrive by approved buses that cost €35 per person, believing that they could make their own way to the ground for half that price.
Security and safety, rather than greed, is the reason behind the decision taken by the Irish Football Association (IFA), following a number of incidents involving loyalist thugs at the Aviva Stadium when Norn Iron were hammered by Scotland in their Carling Nations Cup opener back in February.
The IFA released a statement on the matter which read: “The decision to link tickets with organised transport was taken in the interest of safety and in conjunction with the PSNI and Gardai.”
Northern Ireland will take on the Republic of Ireland on May 24 in a game that will be preceded by the airing of British national anthem ‘God Save the Queen’ despite speculation that it would not be played due to security concerns.
According to IFA administrator David Currie, it was agreed before the tournament that all anthems would be played before matches and nothing has changed in the intervening period.
“It was agreed before the tournament that all four nations’ anthems and flags would be on display for all matches and as far as I’m aware, nothing has changed since then,” he said.
“That was agreed in our last meeting with the FAI and I’ve heard nothing since to suggest otherwise.”