Sunday 21 January 2018

FAI should weigh up England risks

No doubt many people will have serious concerns for their own safety and the safety of their families following confirmation by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) that they are in discussions with their English FA counterparts regarding a friendly football match between both countries next year.

Following the unprovoked riot at Lansdowne Road Stadium in February 1995 by English fans, the FAI must first consult with the gardai and other relevant organs of the State before any final decision is made on whether to invite the England football team to Dublin.

Like most sports fans, I would be keen to see England play Ireland at Aviva, but unfortunately such a fixture has the potential to create serious confrontation between some England supporters and the gardai. In the wake of the violence witnessed at Lansdowne Road in 1995, it emerged that members of the racist British National Front, Combat 18 and the English Defence League travelled to Dublin with the intention to cause serious trouble. They were spectacularly successful in their objective.

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