English expatriates will be called upon to roar Gareth Southgate’s side to success in their Euro 2020 quarter-final on Saturday after Covid restrictions stopped domestic fans from travelling to Rome.
The Football Association has confirmed it will not be selling tickets to the England Supporters Travel Club, the official arm of England’s away support, following the requirement by the Italian government that all British citizens quarantine for five days on arrival in the country.
Tickets will instead be made available through the UK embassy in Rome, with English fans resident in the country getting priority.
Saturday night’s fixture, which follows England’s historic defeat of Germany in the last 16, is to be played in front of a heavily reduced crowd at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Total capacity will reach only 18,000, with the FA able to distribute roughly 12.5% of the total, or just over 2,000 tickets.
With an estimated 30,000 UK citizens living in Italy, there will now be a rush to get hold of a precious seat. There is no mechanism established yet for distributing the places, with the embassy’s phone line likely to be under siege.
Embassy staff have prior experience in the tournament, however, having helped Welsh fans make it to an encounter at the Olimpico with Italy in the group stages. The work done by embassy staff was praised by supporters.
Current quarantine rules for British citizens entering Italy run until the end of July. On arrival travellers who have been in the UK in the previous 14 days must self-isolate for five days, and then test negative for the disease to be released.
In a statement to ESTC members on Tuesday night, the FA said: “Unfortunately, the FA will not be selling any tickets via the ESTC for this fixture given the travel restrictions in place across both countries, and as such are working with Uefa and the British embassy in Italy to facilitate as many ticket sales to English residents in Italy as possible.”