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Monday 11 December 2017

Euro 2012 diary: Leave the drinking and smoking to us


Where player absence has been the hot topic in Ireland, Macedonian people may be looking on tomorrow's game as a bit of distraction from the serious political business which is ongoing in their country at the moment.

The ruling VMRO-DPMNE party, a nationalist Christian Democratic group, are expected to hold off the Social Democrats in their parliamentary elections.

However, Irish fans will hopefully encounter some cheery policemen this weekend as a consequence. The Macedonian cops have been told to smile in the build-up to the election.

"Showing anger, boredom or frustration is undesirable," read a manual handed out to those who will be around polling stations.

Drinking, smoking and talking loudly in cafes is also off the agenda.

They can leave that to the Irish.

Ambitious palates can try local dish

Those Irish fans who like to stray away from an Irish pub and a search for a burger might like to sample the local dish of choice: Tavce-gravce.

What is it? Well, the internet descriptions vary, but the general consensus is: freshly prepared beans with some onion and a dash of some local sauces. It is served as a side dish with your meat of choice.

Visitors with a less ambitious palate can ask a local where the nearest McDonalds is.

28 The expected temperature in degrees tomorrow evening. It has been extremely warm in Macedonia this week, but there's a catch -- severe rain and even some thunderstorms are part of the deal, so it's not exactly paradise. It will be cooler by the time the 9.30 (Macedonia time) kick-off comes around, but locals are predicting that it will still be warm.

"I flew in on the Sunday, drove in on the Monday and played 20 minutes on the Tuesday. I felt like a zombie -- I did okay, but I felt like a zombie." --

Stephen Hunt explains how he felt joining up with the Irish camp for an international game 48 hours after being central to Wolves' escape from relegation.

Irish Independent

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