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Oz fan buys rights to Ireland match


 Giovanni Trapattoni. Sportsfile

Giovanni Trapattoni. Sportsfile

Giovanni Trapattoni. Sportsfile

A Dublin soccer fan has bought the Australian TV rights for Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Sweden because he is so annoyed at the lack of coverage of Irish soccer there.

David Feeney, who is married and has been living in Australia for a number of years, put his house on the line to guarantee that he and his friends would get to see the crunch game on Friday week at the Aviva stadium.

And the lads Down Under will now be able to cheer on Giovanni Trapattoni's boys in the must-win tie.

Mr Feeney contacted a friend involved in broadcasting in Ireland before making a bid to Kentaro, the German media company that owns the broadcast rights.



"They said my bid was too low, but that it was close; then I raised it and they said OK," he said.

The sports-mad fan has partnered with a horse-racing channel to show the match via a closed-circuit system at a number of venues across Australia, where thousands of Irish people now live.

Feeney also secured the rights to England's qualifier away to Ukraine.

Having used his home as security to borrow the money to buy the rights, Feeney admitted the venture is costing "in the tens of thousands of dollars".

The Dubliner said the hardest person to convince in the whole process had been his wife.

"She was hardest to convince all right, but we have an agreement that if it makes any money, she gets to keep it."

RTE will be showing the game, but live streaming on the internet will be in Ireland only.

Presenter Bill O'Herlihy will be joined on RTE Two by the soccer troika of John Giles, Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy for live coverage.

George Hamilton, Ronnie Whelan and Tony O'Donoghue will be providing commentary.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.