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Emirates venue for Brazil tie

THE Emirates Stadium has emerged as the most likely venue for the Republic of Ireland's friendly international against Brazil in early March, when Giovanni Trapattoni will begin the task of rebuilding shattered morale.

Both Trapattoni and the FAI hope that the fixture against Brazil will lift players and fans after the disappointment of Paris.

The FAI has explored the possibility of using Croke Park to stage the money-spinning exhibition against Brazil and it is thought that GAA officials had no major objection.

However, the cost of booking the Brazilians on top of the rental for the stadium makes the use of GAA headquarters impractical if the FAI want to turn a significant profit from the fixture.

The use of the Emirates would involve a gamble, given the size of the stadium and the need to fill it, and it remains to be seen whether enough Irish fans would travel to London for the game.

Arsenal meet Burnley in a home Premier League fixture on February 6 and are away to Hull a week later.

The FAI have been examining several possibilities including Anfield, Celtic Park and Old Trafford.

But the choice of the Emirates is logical, given Republic of Ireland assistant boss Liam Brady's status as a Gunners' legend and the fact that the FAI already have a relationship with the club following the use of the London Colney state of the art training facility last May.

There has been no news from Abbotstown about Brady's position within the Irish set-up, though he is expected to resume his duties beside Marco Tardelli.

Trapattoni's next assignment as Irish boss will be to attend the Euro 2012 draw in Warsaw in three weeks, a fact which will come as a disappointment to the Turkish FA.

Further speculation in Turkey and Italy over the last few days once again linked Trapattoni with a switch to Istanbul.

"It's rubbish, there is nothing in it. It is just agents talking. I am totally committed to Ireland," said Trapattoni.


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