Uefa has apologised for a technical error over Euro 2020 tickets that has left fans hundreds of pounds out of pocket.
A new batch of tickets for this summer’s tournament was made available on Wednesday for fans unsuccessful in the initial ballots.
Fans who thought they had secured tickets then also bought flights and accommodation – but received an email hours later from European football’s governing body to say the transactions had been cancelled.
“Tickets became available due to the failure of supporters to pay on time for tickets they had previously ordered. These tickets were subsequently sold,” said a statement.
“However, due to a technical error, for a short period of time a small number of tickets which were not for sale were made available for purchase.
“Fans who purchased those tickets received a cancellation email and no charge was made to their credit cards.”
James Lofthouse from Torquay thought he had four tickets for England’s match with the Czech Republic on Tuesday, 23 June and two for the game with one of the play-off winners – which could be Scotland – on Friday, 19 June.
He spent 90 minutes in an online queue on the Uefa website before spending £700 on six tickets.
“I then got together with my friends to book hotels for London,” he told BBC Sport.
“I went for a non-refundable deal because I didn’t think there was any reason the tickets would be cancelled. That was £200 that left my account that I won’t get back.
“There was no apology in the email and that is very, very poor.”
‘Uefa is hiding from their customers’
Tom Lowman thought he had tickets for him and his son to watch the attractive Group F fixture between Germany and Portugal in Munich on Saturday, 20 June.
He then bought non-refundable return flights from Manchester for £510, before receiving an email hours later to say the match tickets had been cancelled.
“I was incredibly fed up last night,” he said.
“But the real frustration is that there is no real comeback. You go on Uefa’s website and there is no way of getting in contact with anybody.
“It is a terrible way to treat your customers. They’re hiding. Let’s see if they come back and offer to refund my flights but my guess is nothing will happen.”