Austrians 'overwhelmed' by Irish fans' kindness
Updated: Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 18:06
Two Austrian fans who had their money and match tickets stolen in Dublin yesterday say they are overwhelmed by the generosity of Irish fans who organised a collection for them.
Stefan Madlener, 22 and Valeria Lampert, 21, lost their match tickets, driving licence, bankcards and cash when Valeria's wallet was stolen on Wicklow Street at around 1pm yesterday.
The couple - from Vorarlberg in Western Austria - are students at Vienna University.
However, as word of the incident spread on Twitter and Facebook, Irish fans were quick to offer help to the beleaguered Austrians.
Irish fans on the You Boys In Green forums called for a whip around to replace the money that was stolen and the FAI has since stepped in and replaced both tickets.
It is understood the money pledged has now surpassed the money stolen - with the rest set to be donated to charity.
Speaking to RTÉ this afternoon, the couple thanked Irish fans for their generosity.
"We were really surprised. We never thought something like this would happen."
They said It their first trip abroad to watch the Austrian team - they had picked the Ireland fixture as their first away match after watching how the Irish fans celebrated in Poland at Euro 2012 last summer.
Stefan and Valeria said they were astonished at how kind the Irish fans had been in organising the cash collection and confirmed that the FAI had organised two tickets for the match.
"They gave us tickets and extra money - incredible. Such kind people"
The Ireland Fans Embassy wrote on Facebook of the happy ending to the story.
"Last night one of the YBIG posters met up with the lads and they were in a bar supping pints and recovering from their ordeal. All's well that ends well, thanks again to the FAI and the quintessential decency from Irish fans on this issue. Brilliant."