Long disappointed by IFA response to Irish Cup Final concerns

Naomi Long has said she is disappointed by the response from the Irish Football Association (IFA), after the organisation refused to change its method for selling tickets for the Irish Cup Final.

Alliance East Belfast Westminster candidate Mrs Long was speaking after receiving an IFA response to her request to not use online vendor Ticketmaster for the Glentoran vs Portadown game on May 2.

A number of Glens supporters had approached Mrs Long to complain about Ticketmaster, citing concerns over segregation and fan safety, as well as being faced with a financial charge for buying tickets via the service.

However, IFA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson has responded to Mrs Long to state the organisation believes it is “planning the Irish Cup Final appropriately from a ticketing and operations standpoint,” with a request to change the ticketing approach refused by the governing body.

“There is no doubt the refusal to consider using other methods rather than just Ticketmaster for the sale of tickets is disappointing news for fans,” she said.

“This week’s news about the potential move of the match away from Windsor Park due to concerns regarding the stadium, have only added to the fears about the safety of fans. It’s also clear this closes down a potential revenue stream for clubs from the associated sale of merchandise.

“The IFA is due to meet the clubs, as well as the stewarding company and safety officers, to talk about segregation and crowd safety, in the near future. I will continue to support Glentoran to ensure the safety and interests of fans are at the forefront of any such discussions.”

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