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Brussels, 08 Juin 2000

Commission approves ticketing arrangements for Euro 2000

The European Commission informed UEFA today of its decision to approve the ticketing arrangements for the European Football Championships, to be held in Belgium and The Netherlands from June 10. The decision follows the notification by UEFA in March 1999 of the ticket sales arrangements to check compliance with European competition rules. The Commission welcomes UEFA's initiative to request approval and is pleased to note that the tickets sales appear to have respected the non-discriminatory principle.

The Commission last year ruled against the French organisers of the 1998 World Cup for operating a discriminatory system of ticket sales which favoured soccer fans resident in France, where the event took place.

By contrast, the arrangements agreed for the Euro 2000 tournament appear to have given European consumers a genuine possibility to obtain tickets for all matches under fair and non-discriminatory conditions, to the extent that was appropriate bearing in mind the need to offer tickets to supporters of the different participating countries.

"I'm happy that football fans accross Europe have had a fair opportunity to buy tickets to their favourite matches and that, unlike in the World Cup, there has been no need to blow the whistle to recall the rules of the competition game," said Mario Monti, European Competition Commissioner.

Entry tickets for all matches were sold to the general public at various times and for limited periods by both the competition's local organising committee (Euro 2000) and UEFA member football associations.

In a first period of sales, which started on 29 March 1999, Euro 2000 offered over 400,000 entry tickets (representing 34% of total seating capacity) to the general public throughout the European Union. Consumers could apply either in writing or through UEFA's official Internet web-site which allowed applications to be completed and transmitted electronically. A further 400,000 entry tickets were offered to the general public by UEFA member associations on a staggered basis after the group draw in December 1999. Tickets relating to knockout phase matches will be distributed by Euro 2000 to national associations for onward distribution to supporters after the conclusion of the group phase of the tournament.

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