Irish League footballer sees funny side after expensive Northern Ireland ticket gaffe

By Gareth Fullerton

An Irish League footballer was able to see the funny side after being caught out by entry requirements for Northern Ireland's game against Switzerland on Wednesday night.

Crusaders new boy Johnny Black bought four tickets for the crunch World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.

The 33-year-old - who recently returned home from Australia after eight years Down Under - was hoping to treat his American girlfriend and other pals to a special Windsor atmosphere.

But it was only after arriving at the turnstiles that Black discovered they wouldn't be getting into the National Football Stadium.

Talking on Belfast Live's That's What I Call Football podcast, Black joked: "I don't even want to talk about it. Can you lend me a few quid?"

He went on to explain: "I ended up buying tickets for my best friend's boyfriend who is English, to let him soak up the atmosphere.

"And my girlfriend is American, so I wanted her to see Windsor Park and experience the atmosphere of a Northern Ireland game.

"We got to the North Stand, and we were a bit late. Shayne Lavery was just going through one-on-one and the tension of the fans was mad.

"I was just thinking 'this is going to be an unreal atmosphere', and then the fella at the turnstiles says 'get your vaccine passes out'.

"We didn't have a clue you needed the vaccine passes, so it was £230 down the drain. No atmosphere at all.

"I was standing there with four tickets I couldn't even use. I was disgusted."

Fans over the age of 11 attending Wednesday's game had to provide proof of full vaccination by showing their Covid-19 Vaccination Card.

Alternatively, they had to show proof of a negative Covid test.

Black added: "I put it on Twitter if anyone wanted the tickets, but it was a bit late.

"I just put it on Twitter that if anyone was near the ground they could have the tickets. I would send them to them.

"Then I was going to email Ticketmaster and tell them I didn't know I needed a covid passport thing.

"You win some, lose some."


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