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12,000 pay to watch Portugal practice

sports Updated: Jun 04, 2008 15:47 IST

A crowd of 12,000 people have paid to watch Portugal’s Euro 2008 squad hold an open practice in Neuchatel, a team spokesman said.

Tickets worth 15 Swiss francs ($14.42) to watch the Group A favourites at Neuchatel’s La Maladiere stadium on Tuesday have sold out and are being negotiated on the black market at four times that price, Portuguese media said.

“There will be 12,000 people to watch the practice, that’s already confirmed,” team spokesman Antonio Florencio said from Neuchatel.

Portugal arrived to a rousing welcome from an estimated 10,000 crowd of expatriate Portuguese at their tournament hotel in the lakeside city on Sunday evening, media reported.

Carlos Godinho, the squad’s technical director, said they were charging for two training sessions to help meet high costs of their participation in the tournament. There is another open session scheduled for Sunday.

"We are the only national team that has paid training sessions, but we're also the only one that will have training in front of 12,000 people," he told reporters.

Portugal, who trained twice behind closed doors on Monday, meet Turkey in Geneva on Saturday.