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Sunday 22 January 2017

Delaney - Friendly against England 'unlikely' before Euros

Published 13/12/2011 | 05:00

JOHN DELANEY has admitted that a pre-Euro 2012 friendly with England looks to be off the agenda for next summer.

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The FAI chief executive says it's "highly unlikely" that Fabio Capello will bring his team to Dublin for a money-spinning friendly ahead of the finals.

Giovanni Trapattoni had given a green light to the fixture, but the English FA were reluctant despite acknowledging they owe Ireland a friendly after the shenanigans at Lansdowne Road back in 1995.

However, Delaney has suggested that England were put off a visit next May by the fact that the teams could meet in the quarter-final stage at the Euros.

The FA are also understood to want their finals send-off to take place in Wembley, similar to the FAI who want to cash in on their qualification success with home games at Lansdowne that are sure to attract substantial interest.

Instead, it's possible that England will come to Dublin in November. The FAI could aim to make around €3m from that fixture.

"The England game is looking less likely for May," said Delaney, speaking on snooker star Ken Doherty's new football show on Sunshine FM.

"The fact from the English perspective that we could play them in the quarter-finals... they're not that keen to do it in May, but they're keen to come sooner rather than later after that.

"But it's highly unlikely that it would be May now."

With the process of applying for Euro 2012 tickets under way, Delaney also addressed the issue of ticket allocations. A modest number of 6,000 are available for the group games with Croatia, Spain and Italy, and Delaney says it will be hard for the FAI to keep all fans happy.

"We'll get as many tickets as we can," he said, "but we won't be able to satisfy the expected demand that will come through. But Irish fans are genius at finding our way into football grounds."

Irish Independent

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