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Ticket allocation unfair, says Ireland manager

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Ireland Training - Grand Stade, Decines, France - 25/6/16 - Ireland's coach Martin O'Neill during training. REUTERS/Robert Pratta
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Ireland Training - Grand Stade, Decines, France - 25/6/16 - Ireland's coach Martin O'Neill during training. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

LYON, France (Reuters) - Ireland manager Martin O'Neill said on Saturday it was unfair that fewer than 5,000 tickets had been allocated to Ireland supporters for their game against France in the round of 16 of Euro 2016.

Hosts France found out three days before Ireland that they would be playing in Lyon on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals.

"Ticket allocation is something I do have a gripe about", O'Neill told a news conference at the brand new Parc OL stadium, which has around 59,000 seats.

"It's totally disproportionate. For a stadium this size and this brilliance, for us or any team playing in the round of 16 to be allocated under 5,000 tickets is pretty unfair, really," he added.

"It's not just for us. For any side, I think there should have been a certain allocation left aside for the side who would make it here. France have had that opportunity, having advanced three days before us, and so it's going to be severely one-sided in that aspect."

The Ireland manager did not complain, however, about the fact that his team had less time than France to prepare for Sunday's tie.

"It was always going to be the case, when we kicked off last in the competition, that we would face this problem at some stage", he said. "It's upon us now, we just have to deal with it.

(Writing by Patrick Vignal in Paris, editing by Julien Pretot)

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