MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Russian football fans filed over 68,000 applications for tickets to see the matches of the national team at the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup in France this summer, the Russian Football Union (RFU) announced on its website on Tuesday.
"The Russian Football Union informs that UEFA [the Union of European Football Associations] is no longer accepting the applications for tickets for matches of the Russian national football team at the 2016 Euro Cup," RFU said.
UEFA was receiving applications for tickets from fans of the qualified national teams for the major European football tournament’s matches between December 13, 2015 and January 18, 2016. A total amount of 800,000 tickets for the group stage matches were on offer during the applications period with the price of a ticket varying between 25 and 145 euros ($27-158).
"A total of 68,064 applications were registered on the [UEFA] web portal for the matches of the Russian national team, including 56,591 applications for the group stage matches," the RFU added.
Last week UEFA informed TASS that a 16-percent quota of tickets for each of three matches to be played by the Russian national football team at the group stage of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup was allocated for Russian fans.
"Around 32% of the stadiums will be reserved for the fans of the teams," UEFA stated in its letter for TASS. "Therefore, the Russian fans will get around 16% of the seats of each stadium."
The 2016 UEFA Euro Cup will be held in France between June 10 and July 10 with matches to be played in 10 different locations, namely in Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
A total of 24 European national teams qualified for the Euro Cup final tournament in 2016, after the contestants’ format, which was used since 1996, was decided to be extended from 16 to 24 teams.
The contesting teams were divided into six groups and Russia was placed into Group B, sharing it with the teams from England, Wales and Slovakia.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS a week ago he believed that at least 10,000 Russian football fans were expected to attend the national team’s group stage opening match to be played against England.
"Our current quota of tickets for the match against England currently stands at 10,000," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said in an interview with TASS. "I believe, that all of the 10,000 Russian fans will be present at the [June 11] match."
The Group B match between the national squads of Russia and England will be held at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on June 11 starting at 21:00 local time.
The Russian national team won the ticket for the championship in France almost at the very last moment.
Russia, which was in the third position of the qualifying Group G after defeat to Austria in mid-June, went on a winning streak in four remaining fixtures and finished the qualifiers for the major European tournament in the second place of the group earning a direct pass to the 2016 Euro Cup.
Following the defeat to Austria in mid-June the Russian national football team’s coaching staff saw a major overhaul. The previously Italian-dominated staff was dismissed along with former Head Coach Fabio Capello and Russia’s Leonid Slutsky was appointed in early August to take the helm of the team.
Slutsky managed to guide the national team to victories in all matches under his management starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5.
The new coach’s inaugural match against the Swedish squad followed with a crushing 7-0 victory over Liechtenstein three days later and then he took the team to victories over Moldova (2-1) on October 9 and Montenegro (2-0) on October 12.