By Jeremy Armstrong

England fans are famed for invading Europe in their hordes, outnumbering other supporters as they bring a party atmosphere to football matches.

Few Lions: More Russian than English fans buy tickets for England v Ukraine Euro 2012 tie

But for the first time in a major ­competition, Three Lions supporters will not be the dominant force at Euro 2012.

In fact, more Russians have got tickets to see our crunch tie with Ukraine next month.

And the Swedes will outnumber England fans when Roy Hodgson’s men face the ­Scandinavians in Kiev.

A Mirror survey reveals the shocking drop in the number of England supporters buying tickets for the ­competition in Ukraine and Poland.

Of the 16 nations bidding for glory, eight teams have sold more than us.

They also include Poland, Germany and the Republic of Ireland. England fans – who have bought 21,000 tickets – limp in ninth in the crowd league.

There will be 4,000 England supporters cheering on the team against Ukraine in Donestk while the Russians have snapped up 5,000 tickets.

Fans groups blame the prosept of a difficult and costly journey to Ukraine.

Football Supporters’ Federation international director Kevin Miles, who will run an England fans’ embassy at Euro 2012, said: “I must admit I am shocked at the Mirror’s figures on the Russians, and the ticket sales overall.

“It is strange to think there will be more of them at the Ukraine game than our supporters.

“But the figures suggest, as we suspected, that geography and logistics are proving the major factor in attendances.”

The Football Association sold less than a third of its allocation, a total of 7,000.

Figures obtained by the Mirror combine those sold via the FA with those on the Uefa website.

Poland top the fans table with 291,000 tickets sold for the contest, the Ukraine come in second on 168,000, and third is Russia with 100,000 sales.

There will be 12,000 Ireland fans at their opening game against Croatia in Poland on June 10.

Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Portugal, Denmark and even world champions Spain have sold fewer tickets than normal, but organisers Uefa insist the stadia will be full for nearly all matches.

France sold the least tickets at 8,000.

It means the English will outnumber French by two to one in our opening match, with 4,377 sold to our support, and 2,483 to the French.

A spokesman said: “It takes some time and has been a bit slow for some matches in Ukraine, including England versus France.

“But we have no concerns that the stadia will be full.”

It’s not just England fans who are snubbing the games. Winger Theo Walcott’s family are not going because of the threat of racist attacks in Ukraine.

The Arsenal star’s brother Ashley tweeted: “There is the fear of confrontation.”