Finally, the Algarve Stadium has attracted a major football event between two of Portugal’s largest clubs (Benfica vs Sporting match on Sunday, March 21).
My teenage son asked me if I could acquire a couple of tickets as he is a fan of one of the clubs in the final, so I began to enquire where tickets for this event could be obtained.
I called the headquarters of both of the teams – “sorry we are sold out, however we only sell them to club members” and this has been the same reply ever since.
The Algarve tourism board, the Câmara of Loulé, the Câmara of Faro, in fact no one in the Algarve knew anything about this event, even the Parque das Cidades do not sell tickets!
So I spoke to the Portuguese Football Association. They said: “It is organised by the Portuguese League, speak with them”. So a call was made to the League: “Tickets are distributed to the clubs, it is out of our hands, speak with them.”
Well, having been there, done that, I realised that there was no chance. As I understand, 10,000 tickets went to Sporting Club, 10,000 to Benfica and 10,000 to the sponsors, Carlsberg. They are not advertised anywhere, and no one seems to know where they could be bought.
Both these teams have their own new stadiums in Lisbon. It must be nice for them to have a “jolly” to the Algarve. My view is that, in future, they should stick to their own ground and not use our facilities unless they at least have the courtesy to have some (tickets) to sell to the local Algarve people.
MARK WYLIE, by email