Free tickets for Olympic matches

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NICOLA Sturgeon, the deputy first minister, has announced that youngster will be given the opportunity to see Olympic football for free at the national stadium.

The allocations will be released through the London 2012 Ticketshare scheme and will be distributed to charities, sports clubs and youth projects.

Some 50,000 tickets are up for grabs and will involve the men’s games – including Euro and World Cup holders Spain.

The games will be held between July 25 and August 3 and will also include Honduras, Japan and Moroco.

Announcing the allocation, MSP Ms Sturgeon said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for children and young people in Scotland to be part of the whole Olympic experience and to encourage their participation in sport.

“These matches will have a unique Olympics atmosphere and provide the ideal family day out with world-class matches, including the reigning Euro 2012 champions Spain.

“It’s a fantastic chance to promote Scotland to a global audience.

“Every country playing at Hampden will be made to feel enormously welcome”.

The games involving Spain are sure to generate interest as the Spanish side has won the Euros twice on the trot and, inbetween, grabbed a hold of the World Cup.

Their first game is at the national stadium on Thursday, July 26 when they face Japan at 2.45pm.

Another high-profile match will be between defending Olympic champions USA and France at the opening of the games at 5pm on Wednesday, July 25.

Ticket sales, however, have been slow to take off for the London 2012 Olympics.

Reports suggested that two-thirds had not been sold towards the end of last month and that some 170,000 remained available.

The leader of Glasgow city council Gordon Matheson remained upbeat, however.

He said: “I believe Hampden Stadium will be full for the London Olympics football games.

“I’m going to be joining the Hampden roar and there will be tens of thousands of fellow Glaswegians and Scots who will be alongside me there too”.

Tickets for each of the games are still on sale.

Contact the stadium for more information.