LIMERICK FC have admitted defeat in their bid to bring Spanish champions Barcelona to Ireland later this summer.
The Munster club have had a bitter and public battle with the FAI over the association's refusal to sanction a proposed Limerick-Barca friendly on July 31, but today they became resigned to the fact that the game won't now happen.
"It is with regret that Limerick FC wish to confirm that FC Barcelona have confirmed in writing to the club this evening, Tuesday May 18, that they are no longer in the position to keep open the agreed date of July 31 for the proposed friendly match in Thomond Park," Limerick said in an official statement.
"Therefore the proposed friendly match between both clubs will not now go ahead despite the fact that a heads of agreement had been reached between both parties.
"Limerick FC have been informed by FC Barcelona that the only reason that this match is not going ahead is the decision of the Airtricity League director and the FAI not to sanction the proposed match.
"The initial decision of Airtricity League director and the FAI was not changed despite an email request by FC Barcelona to FAI officials on the night of Monday 17 May that confirmed their desire to go ahead with the match with Limerick FC and stated their disagreement with the decision not to sanction the game.
"Due to FC Barcelona's need to finalise their pre-season plans for the upcoming season, they are now left with no choice but to seek an alternative friendly match for the date in question.
"Limerick FC respect FC Barcelona's need to do this and hope they find a suitable alternative fixture," the club added.