UEFA Futsal EURO 2014 started in Antwerp on Tuesday with a sell-out – and organisers are looking to put extra tickets on offer for the 8 February final after announcing that all 13,000 seats at the Sportpaleis decider have been snapped up.
The group stage is being played at the Lotto Arena before the action switches next door for the knockout phase to the Sportpaleis, nearly three times the size. The sold-out signs went up on Tuesday as Belgium opened against Romania after the Netherlands faced Russia, and it will be the same on Saturday as the hosts attempt to save their campaign versus Ukraine.
"It's unusual in Belgium to have such a [big] crowd," Belgium coach Alain Dopchie told UEFA.com after their 6-1 loss to Romania, a match the home side were very much in until the closing stages. "Those supporters, they were great. They came to see the game and, I have to say, they got what they wanted: excitement."
Emil Răducu, who opened the scoring for Romania to silence that crowd, said: "It's always good to see the arena full of people, it is very important for futsal – that is why we play, so people can come and see us."
Whoever makes the final and third-place play-off on Saturday week, there will be plenty of people in attendance, with ticket sales ensuring the second-largest UEFA Futsal EURO crowd on record after the 14,300 that watched hosts Croatia lose their 2012 semi-final to Russia in Zagreb.
Tournament organisers are aiming to open up extra seats for that occasion, while tickets remain on sale for other matches in the finals at €10 and €5 – with children under 12 and disabled fans admitted free.
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