Fans of the English national team have been set a new ticket limit by the organizers of the 2012 European soccer championships; they will be allocated only 5,000 seats for the quarter and semi-finals, assuming Fabio Capello's men actually reach that stage. The reduction will mean that there are, approximately, a thousand fewer tickets than normally available.
Although UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe, normally reserves 20 percent of the stadium's capacity for each competing nation, logistical difficulties in host nations Poland and Ukraine have forced the reduction.
We have reduced the capacity of supporters to 5,000 each, said Martin Kallen, UEFA's Operations Director for the 2012 tournament, in a BBC report, It makes it easier, logistically, than when we have 20 percent of the capacity for each finalist.
With England there is not this problem but some countries do not have as many supporters and we want to give local people a chance to ensure we have full stadiums, he continued.
Meanwhile, the draw for the group stages of the competition takes place at 1900 CET on Friday, in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. Pre-tournament favorites, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands will hope to avoid other strong teams like Portugal, Italy, France and England, at least in the early stages. Incidentally, five out of the eight venues to be used for the tournament have been built specially for the major football tournament to be held in Eastern Europe.
The city of Kiev will host the finals and one of four quarter-finals in its 70,500-capacity Olympic Stadium. A second quarter-final will be held at Donetsk's Donbass Arena, which can seat 51,504 people. The two remaining quarter finals will be held at the Polish cities of Warsaw and Gdansk; at the 58,415-capacity National Stadium and the 44,636-capacity PGE Arena, respectively. The semi-finals are scheduled to be held in Warsaw and Donetsk.