All 1.05 million Euro Championship tickets sold out

People lift a ball during a rehearsal for the pre-match ceremony of Euro 2008 at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna, Austria. (REUTERS)

The European Championship is sold out.

Euro 2008 chief operating officer Martin Kallen said all 1.05 million tickets for the 31-match tournament in Austria and Switzerland that starts Saturday have been sold, and that anyone buying a ticket from now is doing so illegally.

“All tickets have been sold, not one single one left – and haven’t been so for a while,” Kallen said Sunday. “We are obviously trying to stop tickets from being sold on the black market. But all tickets now being sold are black-market tickets.”

Euro 2008 organisers said 38 per cent of the tickets went to national football federations, 33 per cent to the general public, 14 per cent to sponsors and TV partners, with the remaining 15 per cent being broken up between hospitality, UEFA members and host city and stadium owner factions.

A ticket for the June 29 final at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna will cost between $249 and $855 (Dh916.32 and Dh3,146.40), with all other matches selling from $70 to $171 (Dh257.60 to Dh629.28).

Switzerland, Austria and Germany represent a combined 75 per cent of all 8.7 million individual ticket requests, while Spain, France, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands were at the other end of the scale from between 1 and 4 per cent each.

Austria (101) and Switzerland (48) are easily the lowest ranked teams by FIFA in the tournament, with Russia and Turkey tied for the next lowest at 25th, but Kallen is not concerned that the tournament will lack atmosphere if the two hosts are knocked out in the first round.

“It goes without saying that the home teams add to the euphoria if they qualify, but in both countries there are lots of immigrant groups who live abroad,” Kallen said. “There are large groups of Croatians and Germans in Austria and Croatians and Spanish in Switzerland.”

Kallen said UEFA has been working closely with Austria and Switzerland since 2002 to ensure the tournament is a success.

“All of the stadia will be in good shape as of kickoff (for the first match),” Kallen said. “The first teams have arrived and preparations are going smoothly. We are ready and everything has been working according to plan.”

Switzerland tournament director Christian Mutschler, in Basel but shown on a video screen in Vienna, praised the efforts of public officials, who have 5,000 volunteers set to be deployed to help a combined 5 million people expected to enter the two countries.

“Without these great efforts, this big party would not be possible,” Mutschler said. “We believe that everything is ready to go, and I’m confident that we’ll see some high-level matches.”