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Polish support could swell crowd to 40,000

Published 05/02/2013 | 04:00

THE FAI believe that huge interest from the Polish community in Ireland could drive the attendance for tomorrow night's match towards the 40,000 mark.

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That would make it the largest attendance for a football friendly at the Aviva Stadium since the opening-night meeting with Argentina.

In November 2008, Polish voices dominated the 61,000 crowd at Croke Park in an entertaining game that ended in a 3-2 victory for the visitors. They are expected to turn out in force again, thus providing a welcome boost for the FAI who have struggled to attract more than 20,000 supporters to friendly matches at the renovated venue.

The association are reluctant to make a definite prediction about the turnout for this week's game, but they have distributed more than 30,000 tickets and their cause could be helped by a walk-up crowd on the night.

The match with Poland was arranged in the aftermath of Euro 2012 where the travelling Irish supporters made a huge impression on the locals. A return game in Poland is also on the cards.

While some fans are making the journey from Poland this week, the majority of their support will be drawn from supporters based in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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