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Monday 22 September 2014

Republic-England friendly date set

Published 08/04/2014 | 12:52

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The Republic of Ireland will tackle England in a June 7 friendly at the Aviva Stadium in 2015

England will take on the Republic of Ireland in a friendly next June, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Football Association (FA) have jointly announced.

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The fixture will take place at the Aviva Stadium on June 7, a week before the Three Lions face Slovenia in their European Championship qualifier.

It will be the first time that England have played in Dublin since crowd trouble caused the referee to abandon a friendly between the two sides in 1995 after 27 minutes.

The Republic tackle Scotland in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Saturday, June 13.

The Lansdowne Road riot was one of the darkest episodes in the history of English football.

Right-wing extremists among the England supporters in the ground's upper west stand threw objects onto the pitch when David Kelly had given the Irish the lead.

The referee took the players off the pitch moments later and they never returned.

Bridges were rebuilt last May when the Republic came to Wembley to play a friendly which they drew 1-1. The match passed off without any crowd trouble.

The two nations have faced each other 14 times before, England winning five and losing two, while the other seven matches were drawn.

Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington welcomed the announcement of next summer's friendly.

He said: "While inevitably the focus for Roy and his team is on Brazil and the World Cup, we are always planning further ahead and we are delighted to announce this fixture next summer.

"We have had recent visits to France to begin initial plans for that tournament, and our friendly matches will also form a key part in the qualification campaign and preparation.

"It will be a significant moment for England to play in Dublin again, and due to the hard work by both organisations on many fronts we fully expect it to be a fantastic occasion enjoyed by both sets of fans."

The game is likely to be a 50,000 sell out, but no decision has been made on how the tickets will be allocated.

The FA and FAI are confident there will be no repeat of the trouble that marred the fixture 19 years ago.

It is understood that intelligence on potential trouble-causers will be shared between the police forces of both nations.

The chances of trouble occurring are lessened by the expectation that most - if not all - tickets will go to members of official fans' groups, rather than via general sale.

The FA said there were no arrests for football-related violence around the 1-1 draw last year, which was organised as part of the organisation's 150th anniversary celebrations.

Both national anthems were largely well-respected and it is hoped that the same will happen again this time around.

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