England fans lose £1.25million as World Cup qualifier against Poland is rained off

October 17, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

Sodden England fans washed away a £1.25million on Tuesday’s rained off fixture against Poland, it has been claimed.

Hundreds of furious fans poured into Luton airport this morning after battling Poland’s torrential rain to get home in time for work.

The disgruntled fans spoke of their anger at wasting an average of £500 each on the trip to see England play Poland in the crucial World Cup Qualifier.

Disgruntled fan Ron Nixon from Coventry tears up his ticket as he arrives at Luton Airport after retuning from Poland

Disgruntled fan Ron Nixon from Coventry tears up his ticket as he arrives at Luton Airport after retuning from Poland

Incredibly, most of the fans said they had been forced to call home to discover the match had been called off after Polish officials failed to tell them.

One fan, who had been planning the trip since July, said he was devastated at missing the match as he had never been to see England play before.

Others spoke of their nightmare journey home as flights were delayed coming out of Poland because of bad weather.

Some fans called on the FA to compensate them for the cost of the entire trip and not just refund the price of the football tickets.

While the Football Supporters Federation called on FIFA to launch  a full inquiry into the incident and praised the reaction England fans.

Tony Stenner, 52, from Cheltenham, Glos., called on the English FA to take up the matter with Polish officials.

The married father-of-three, who works for a pension’s consultancy, said: “The whole thing was a complete and utter joke.

“We have all lost money it cost me about £200 in total which has just been completely wasted others spent a lot more than me.

Tony Stenner, from Cheltenham with his ticket

Tony Stenner, from Cheltenham with his ticket

William Jackson and Matthew Dancer

William Jackson and Matthew Dancer

Father and son, John and John Baker

Father and son, John and John Baker

“But to make matters worse we were not even told about was going on. We just sat in the stadium for hours on end.

“And when they started making announcements about what was going on – they were all in Polish.

“I had to phone my son Billy who was in England to find out what was happening as he knew more from watching the coverage on the TV.

“It is an absolutely cracking multi-million pound stadium and yet they let something like this happen.

“Why they did not close the roof is beyond me. It had been raining really heavily all day and that must have been a clear sign to use the roof or there is no point in having it.

“We really need to be reimbursed for at least some of our costs and I hope the British FA puts pressure on the Polish Football Association to do something about it.”

About 2,500 England fans crammed into Poland’s National Stadium, built for the Euros, to see the fixture which was due to take place at 8pm but was called off and hour later.

Factory worker Ron Nixon, 49, said the past 48 hours had been “ridiculous” and like a real life version of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”.

The father-of-two, who lives in Coventry, said: “The whole thing has been ridiculous – in fact it is a bit of a farce.

“I am just so tired and want to get back home. We spent hours in the rain only to be told we would not get to see England play.

“It is the first time I have ever been to see a game abroad so I was really looking forward to it.

“In total it must have cost me about #330 which is not cheap.

“It was a nightmare getting out there in the first place as we could not get a flight directly to Warsaw. So we had to fly to Katowice and then get a connecting coach and train.

“Then to make matters even worse our returning flight was cancelled and we had to get another coach to Mordin Airport which is just outside Warsaw.

“It has been nuts – it has been like being in Planes, Trains and Automobiles I just can’t wait to get home.”

William Jackson, 32, was left devastated after spending a whopping £500 on the match which was his first ever England game.

The prison officer from Dover had been planning the trip with pal Matthew Baker, 36, since July, and been really excited at seeing England play for the first time.

He said: “I was devastated. I have never been to see England play before so I was really looking forward to the match.

“It must have cost us about £500 each which we have been saving up for a while. It was a joke we all knew the weather was bad.

“The forecast was quite clear so why they could not put the roof up is a complete mystery.

“Also to make things worse the Polish official never told us what was going on I had to get all my information from my girlfriend who was watching the coverage on ITV.

“It is such a shame before the match there was a brilliant atmosphere between both sets of fans so I think it was going to be a great game.”

The Football Supporters’ Federation said 1000 fans were expected at the rearranged fixture and praised supporters for their “tolerant response”.

A spokesman said: “FIFA should hold an enquiry as to what happened for the sake of transparency, and also to see if there are any lessons that need to be learnt for future procedures. This should not happen again.

“However, there are positives to be taken too.

“The good-humoured and tolerant response of the England fans has drawn plaudits all round and the FSF’s Fans’ Embassy came into its own supporting fans in Warsaw.

“Around 1000 England fans have stayed in Warsaw for this afternoon’s rearranged game.

“While it’s impossible for the FSF to name an “average” amount of money spent due to variables in the price of flights and hotels it won’t be uncommon for fans to have spent #500.”

A spokesman for the FA yesterday (Wed) claimed that England fans would be given a full refund by the Polish Football Association.

The spokesman said: “The Polish FA have today confirmed that they will set up a refund process for unused match tickets.

“Therefore, fans who are unable to attend the rescheduled match today will be able to claim a refund for the cost of their match ticket.

“To claim a refund, members will be asked to send their ticket to The FA at Wembley; we will then collate all the tickets and pass them back to the Polish FA.

“The Polish FA will then confirm which tickets have not been used to access the stadium and issue refunds accordingly.”

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