Cologne to host Ireland
THE German Football Association have pencilled in the city of Cologne as the host venue for the visit of Ireland at the climax of the World Cup 2014 campaign.
While all Irish eyes are on the scramble to Poland for next summer's Euro 2012 finals, the Germans -- who like to rotate stadiums for home games -- have got to work on the venues for the road to Brazil.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men will lock horns with the top seeds in the penultimate game of the group on October 11, 2013 at the 46,000-capacity RheinEnergieStadion -- the home of FC Koln. The Germans visit Dublin in October next year.
Meanwhile, the FAI have said that a friendly meeting with Brittany in May is not a runner, after turning down a request for a game with the French region. The FAI are in no rush to finalise their plans before reaching Poland in early June. A training camp in Florence is the preference, but they have to clarify friendly arrangements before nailing down the dates.
With a clash against England off the agenda, they must find opponents for one or two friendly matches in May. Home games would be the financial preference, although it's possible they could accept an away match in a location convenient to Italy.
Elsewhere, Ireland striker Andy Keogh has stressed his determination to leave Wolves when the transfer window re-opens.
Keogh has been on loan at his first club, Leeds, and is keen to rejoin after enjoying his third loan stint in two seasons. "I love the club and in an ideal world I want to stay," said the 25-year-old.