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Dutch fans irate over shortage of World Cup tickets

Written by: Staff
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AMSTERDAM, Mar 24 (Reuters) Dutch fans are fuming after being allocated only eight percent of tickets from those available for matches featuring the Netherlands at the World Cup.

''It's outrageous that FIFA has not given more tickets,'' Orange Supporters Club chairman Lloyd Vandenberg was quoted as saying by Dutch news agency ANP today.

A lottery, organised by the supporters' club and the Dutch soccer association, distributed 18,000 tickets although around 180,000 fans had hoped to follow the progress of their nation during the June 9-July 9 tournament in Germany.

The shortage has caused prices to skyrocket on the black market even though World Cup organisers have warned fans would be denied entry to the stadiums if they do not buy their tickets through official outlets.

Tickets for Netherlands-Ivory Coast in the first round are offered for about 1,100 euros (1,317 dollar) on the internet, ANP said. Tickets made available though the lottery were only 50 euros.

''These are really absurd prices,'' Vandenberg said.

''That's the result when FIFA releases so few tickets. Someone with a fat wallet might be willing to pay those prices, but the real soccer fan won't even stand a chance.'' The Dutch also face twice champions Argentina and Serbia&Montenegro in Group C, regarded as the toughest.

REUTERS PDS KN2111

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