Sunderland hand Portsmouth minimum away allocation for play-off semi-final following pyrotechnic incident

Sunderland have handed Portsmouth an allocation of just 2,000 tickets for Saturday's play-off semi-final - following an incident at the pair's previous meeting at the Stadium of Light.

By Mark Donnelly
Monday, 06 May, 2019, 13:51

The Black Cats' 1-1 draw with Pompey last month was marred by an incident which followed the visitors' equaliser, when a pyrotechnic device appeared to be thrown from the away end into the home support.

Travelling supporter Samuel Parrott, 18, of Norton Drive, Fareham, was subsequently charged with the throwing of missiles at a designated sporting event.

Sunderland have handed Portsmouth the minimum allocation possible for their League One play-off semi-final

As a result of the incident, the Black Cats have handed Portsmouth an allocation of just 2,000 tickets for this weekend's play-off semi-final - the minimum amount that EFL rules dictate clubs must hand over.

MORE: Sunderland AFC open ticket office on Bank Holiday Monday following popular demand for play-off ticketsThe south coast side sold 3,222 tickets for the visit to Wearside on April 27, but will have a severely reduced allocation this time around.

And while Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin insists the club will ask for an increased allocation, he admits the decision is out of the club's hands.

He told The News: "Obviously our ticket allocation is a decision for Sunderland – and I believe it to be as a result of their safety advisory group’s recommendation.

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"We are in constant contact to see if we can get that increased but, unfortunately, our last game had a few incidents and I believe has had an adverse effect.

"From my understanding, before our last game at Sunderland, the club were very nervous as a result of what happened with Coventry.

"The information is there were then some widely-reported incidents from our recent fixture – and their safety advisory group have subsequently taken the decision to just give us 2,000 tickets.

MORE: Stewart Donald lifts the lid on Sunderland's deal to sign Will Grigg"It is under review, we are still working with Sunderland on it, and hopefully that can be increased.

"When it comes to the safety advisory group, the club (Sunderland) have an input but don’t have the final say. We have no input, it is down to the home club and the safest way they feel they can manage a game at their stadium.

"When we played there, there were a number of incidents on the day. Not all were necessarily Pompey-related, however, concerns have been raised.

"It’s Sunderland’s event, 2,000 tickets is the minimum requirement, which they have met, and really it is down to them. There’s not a lot we can influence.’