The 2017 UEFA U21 Championships in Poland – What you need to know

It’s only 5 years since Poland co-hosted the 2012 UEFA European Championships and this summer local fans will get to see top-class players from around Europe once again as the country plays host to the UEFA U21s. While Poland was ready for 2012, it’s fair to say that it’s even readier for 2017 with infrastructure projects, most notably the railways, now much improved with deadlines missed in 2012 reached in the interceding years.

The tournament running from June 16-30 will see 11 qualifiers plus the hosts Poland compete in three, four-team groups where they each play each other once. The group winners and the group runner-up with the best record will then compete in semi-finals for a place in the final in Krakow scheduled for Friday June 30.

The three groups will each use two cities each to play the six group games. There’s some attractive match-ups in each group and with tickets priced as low as €4 there are some matches well-worth a watch.

  • Group A is based in the cities of Kielce and Lublin and will see the hosts Poland compete with England, Slovakia and Sweden for a place in the semis.
  • Group B is based in the north in the cities of Gdynia and Bydgoszcz and will see games played between FYR Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia and Spain.
  • Group C is right down in the south in the cities of Krakow and Tychy and qualification from this group will be fought over by the teams of Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and Italy.

Eagle-eyed fans will note that none of the, larger, stadia used at the 2012 Finals are being used this time. This is probably a reflection of the expected level of interest in tickets but the smaller stadia and low ticket prices should encourage full grounds as well as bring foreign visitors to some lesser known cities as well as Poland’s tourist capital Krakow, a city which missed out on being a host city in 2012.

Non-Poles, or more specifically, those without a Polish ID number (PESEL) can buy tickets but the process requires a bit more work. Note that one person can buy up to 8 tickets per match but that EACH TICKET MUST BE ALLOCATED TO A NAMED PERSON.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Go to the official ticket partner site kupbilet.pl
  2. Click on the link to ‘Sign-up in order to buy tickets
  3. Complete the sign-up process (available in English)
  4. Once you have completed the sign-up process and received your confirmation email go back to the main kupbilet Euro 2017 page
  5. Choose the city you want to watch a game in by clicking on the photo.
  6. Click on the ‘Check’ link on the right of the screen next to the fixture you want to buy tickets for.
  7. Choose the section of the ground you wish to buy tickets in by clicking on the block number in the image of the stadium. Note hovering your mouse over the block will show how many available tickets are left. Note also that available ticket numbers rise and fall as people choose them but do not always complete the transaction (tickets remain for 24 hours in your shopping cart before being returned).
  8. Click on the ‘I am not a robot’ link. A diagram showing available seats in the block will then appear.
  9. Choose the seats that you wish to purchase.
  10. Once you have finished selecting your seats, click on the ‘Go to Basket’ link
    This is where it gets a bit frustrating for those without a Polish ID number (PESEL). You will see your selected tickets listed and against each you will see a link ‘Enter: Name, Last Name, ID/Passport. At this point you will have to pause your purchase. Note your tickets are held in your basket for 24 hours.
  11. You should now click on the ‘My account’ link near the top of the page.
  12. In the left-hand menu you will see the link ‘Friends’. Click on that.
  13. Click on ‘Add a friend’
  14. You should then add the name and last name of all of the people for whom you wish to buy tickets. If they do not have a PESEL number then leave this field blank. Remember to check the box next to ‘I declare that my friend was informed about sharing the data with Kupbilet.pl, and that I received his/hers consent’ and save your changes.
  15. You will then need to send a clear photograph or scan of the personal details page of each person’s passport to the organisers at obcokrajowcy@kupbilet.pl or documents@kupbilet.pl along with the login name of the person buying the tickets and the names of those fans without a PESEL number.
  16. The organisers will then validate your passports and email you to tell you that they have been accepted.
  17. You will then need to go back to ‘My account’, ‘Friends’ and click on the ‘Edit data’ link.
  18. In the space for the PESEL number you will need to add the person’s passport number.
  19. Once all passport numbers have been added, you can go back to your Shopping Cart.
  20. You will see your selected tickets listed and against each you will see a link ‘Enter: Name, Last Name, ID/Passport.
  21. Choose the ‘owner’ of each ticket from the drop-down list of your friends and remember to click the ‘I declare that I informed my friend about entering his/her personal data into the kupbilet.pl database, and I received their consent’.
  22. Once you have allocated each reserved ticket to an ‘owner’ you can then complete your purchase. You can choose from 4 types of ticket delivery. It is recommended that you choose the ‘Print your own ticket’ option which adds about €1 to each ticket price.
  23. You can then make payment. If you wish to pay by payment card, choose the dotpay option.
  24. Once your purchase is complete you will receive confirmation.
  25. At a later date you will receive notification that your tickets are available to download and print. It is advised that you bring your ID with you to the match to gain entry.

Those with tickets might want to know about train times and how to buy tickets. There are now great services between major cities on modern high-speed Pendolino trains which cost a fraction of the cost of travelling in western or northern Europe. Connections to some of the smaller destinations like  Kielce or Lublin are slower so allow time to get there. Timetables and online ticket purchase are available in English.

Train times can be checked here: http://rozklad-pkp.pl/en
Tickets can be bought in advance here: https://www.intercity.pl/en/

Do us one small favour though. If you want an app, please take a look at ours available here.

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