There will be a few hundred empty seats at the Iceland-Croatia match on Friday night, despite tickets having sold out in 3.5 hours when 35.000 Icelanders raced for the 9.800 tickets on offer online.
700 tickets to the World Cup play-off match were earmarked for Croatian supporters who have been allocated two compartments at the stadium.
The tickets had to be bought in Croatia, where each ticket was issued with the buyer’s passport number.
Security at Laugardalsvöllur stadium has been reinforced for the match. The Croatian supporters will need to enter through a private gate and show their passports along with their tickets and will not be allowed to leave the stadium until the match is over.
The Croatian football association was recently fined for the behaviour of football hooligans who showed up without tickets to two previous matches between Croatia and Belgium and Scotland.
“We had a meeting with the Croatian representatives tonight (Thursday night) and they are fairly relaxed,” Víðir Reynisson, security officer at Laugardalsvöllur told Vísir.is.
“Croatians have a history of showing up without tickets and being troublesome. We won’t know whether they’re going to try anything like that until shortly before the game. But if anyone tries to barge in or climb over the fences, police and security guards will handle it.”
He added that only about half of the tickets for Croatia were sold so a few hundred seats will be empty.
Geir Magnússon, president of the Icelandic Football Association, told Vísir that unfortunately, because of security reasons, it wouldn’t be possible to sell those seats to Iceland supporters.