Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 February 2018

England friendly on hold until Euro 2012 draw

IRELAND’S plans to lure England to Dublin for a friendly next February could be scuppered by next month’s draw for the Euro 2012 group stages.

Senior figures within the FAI held talks with their English counterparts, with negotiations dating back to last summer’s World Cup, in an effort to arrange the first meeting between the two countries since the friendly at Lansdowne Road in 1995, which was abandoned due to rioting among England supporters.

The international date on Feb 29 has been discussed by both parties, with England also considering a game against Holland at Wembley following last August’s cancelled fixture against the World Cup finalists.

But with Ireland set to confirm their place at Euro 2012 against Estonia in Dublin on Tuesday, the potential of an Anglo-Irish clash in Poland/Ukraine next summer has forced discussions over a friendly to be shelved until after the Dec 2 draw in Kiev.

With seedings based on Uefa’s co-efficient rankings, England are set to be among the second seeds for Euro 2012 with Ireland currently ranked in the fourth tier of seeds.

FAI chief executive John Delaney insists, however, that there is an appetite at Wembley and in Dublin for a game to be played at the Aviva Stadium.

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