It’s been branded a fiasco by the Green And White Army, a fiasco by the local media and a fiasco by Footie, the inventively titled Northern Ireland mascot with a football for a head.
But one Dundonald man is laughing all the way to France after securing tickets for every single game at Euro 2016 by mistake.
While thousands of die-hard Northern Ireland fans missed out on tickets to see their team at the European Championships, James Nesbitt (not the famous one), who lives out of a touring caravan parked permanently in the grounds of the Ulster Hospital, has the option to attend every game.
James explained that after consuming four cans of strong lager he went on the internet late one night to order a pizza (with no pineapple or sweetcorn on it, he felt the need to state) and was met with a wall of pop-up windows.
“I started clicking the wee ‘X’s to close all the windows, but some of them needed you to type stuff in before they would close,” said James.
“I thought what’s the worst that can happen, so I entered my name and bank details. I thought nothing more of it until I got a letter this week to say I’d been successful in getting tickets for all 51 matches at Euro 2016.
“Loads of people are saying the ticket allocation is a fiasco. I’d have to agree. Plus I really like using the word ‘fiasco’.”
James said the last Northern Ireland game he attended had been last century.
“The last time I was at Windsor Park was in 1997. Iain Dowie was playing up front back then. I had the kids with me and they’ve been having nightmares ever since.”
When asked if he planned to go to any of the games, James shrugged his shoulders and said, “I might.”
Meanwhile lifelong Linfield and Northern Ireland fan Billy Boyce, who has attended every game at Windsor Park since it was built, failed to get tickets for any of Northern Ireland’s games in France.
Billy commented: “I’ll be honest with you. I was gutted at first, but then things have been going so well for Northern Ireland for the past while that I’ve run out of things to complain about.
“I can play the martyr the whole summer now. As my wife always says, I’m only happy when I’m moaning about something.”
When Billy was reminded that he’d forgotten to use the word ‘fiasco’ at least twice, he added: “It’s a fiasco, so it is. A proper fiasco.”