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Oct 17, 2012

Polish FA to refund unused tickets

The Polish Football Association (PZPN) is to refund England fans unable to attend the rescheduled World Cup qualifier against Poland on Wednesday.

Tuesday's game, at the £400 million national stadium in Warsaw, was abandoned after a torrential downpour left the pitch unplayable, and was rescheduled for 16.00 BST on Wednesday - throwing the transport plans of 2,500 travelling fans into chaos.

England fans' spokesman Mark Perryman believes around a third of the England supporters will be forced to miss the rescheduled game.

However, the PZPN's official website has urged fans to reprint their tickets, saying refunds will be available for those unable to attend.

A statement said: "The England fans who printed a ticket from the system www.kupbilet.pl (for Poland v England) are asked to re-print it.

"Customers who bought tickets from www.kupbilet.pl will be able to file a claim online. Any questions regarding claims should be directed by e-mail to reklamacje@pzpn.pl.

"We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience over the cancellation of the match.''

Meanwhile, the FA has said that the stadium roof will be closed for Wednesday afternoon's game.

It was not closed on Tuesday despite torrential rain that lasted for most of the day, eventually being closed after the match was called off. It was then briefly opened again on Wednesday morning to take advantage of sunny weather in an attempt to dry the pitch.

England coaches Ray Lewington, Gary Neville and Dave Watson attended a meeting at the National Stadium at which it was confirmed that the roof would be closed.

However, officials say the pitch is "no better than OK" after Roy Hodgson voiced concern about the rain-soaked surface being in reasonable condition for the rearranged game.

FA director of communications Adrian Bevington said on Tuesday he had "nothing but respect for the fans who travelled".

"We are extremely disappointed for them," he said. "Whether a lot of them will be able to stay over and watch the game I am not sure at this stage.

"I am sure many will be travelling back tonight on the scheduled planes so it has a massive impact on them. But we had to look at it from a safety point of view and there is no way that game could have gone ahead. We have to protect the players - that is the primary concern."

Perryman, present at the game, has attacked the poor treatment of the travelling fans. "There was one announcement," he said. "The lack of information for the fans was absolutely appalling."

Former England manager Graham Taylor also joined the chorus of discontent, saying: "I thought this was a prime example of how supporters are treated with such disrespect.

"What I mean by that is that it was pretty obvious from the moment the ref came on the pitch for the very first time that this pitch was not playable.

"You could see that, yet it was two and a quarter hours later before supporters were actually told it wasn't on."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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