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Delaney confirms FAI will have no use for Croker

FAI CEO John Delaney has confirmed that any motions brought by GAA clubs to keep Croke Park open for rugby and soccer will have little consequence for his sport in light of their commitment to the new AVIVA Stadium.

The FAI are struggling to sell 10-year tickets for the rebranded Lansdowne Road, which will open in August, and integral to the deal they offer is that all Irish international matches will continue to take place at the venue.

Therefore, they cannot support any suggestion that the home of the GAA could be drafted in for big occasions where demand is above the 50,000 capacity at the AVIVA.

"We sold the naming rights to AVIVA for 10 years. We have a catering contract for 21 years and we have been selling seats and boxes for a period of 10 years," said Delaney over the weekend.

"We made decisions on that basis which now make it impossible for us to play any games in Croke Park of the international variety, certainly in the medium term.

"The conditions by which we were allowed into Croke Park first day was that, we were going to build our own stadium.

"We very much appreciated the gesture by the GAA in opening Croke Park to us but it was made very clear to us at the time that we would only be allowed in, providing we gave a strong commitment that we were building our own stadium and not staying in the longer term," he concluded.

Irish Independent