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Away fans not permitted at Ireland’s forthcoming World Cup qualifier in Portugal  

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Ireland manager Stephen Kenny

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny

IRELAND fans hoping to see Stephen Kenny's side play away to Portugal next month have been left disappointed as UEFA have ruled that no away fans will be permitted to games in the upcoming qualifiers.

UEFA had declared at the start of the qualifying rounds of their club competitions this season that, due to Covid restrictions, no tickets could be sold to away supporters, and now they are set to extend that to all of the World Cup qualifiers due for September.

Some fans had hoped to attend the Portugal game, to be played in the Algarve on September 1st, but the FAI have been informed that no tickets will be sold to Ireland supporters.

Kenny has yet to play in front of a crowd since he took over as senior team boss last year and he has stated his desire to see fans back at the AViva Stadium, on a limited basis with half capacity, for the qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Serbia next month.

"It's amazing, it's going to be special for a lot of the players," he told RTE earlier this month.

"We've only had four games in the Aviva, so many players have made their international debuts and it's just magical, they want to experience it in front of friends and family and supporters, they dream of walking out in front of a full stadium, not an empty one, and while it won't be quite full for the games against Azerbaijan and Serbia there will be tremendous crowds and people want to ho, to shot and get behind the team, be passionate and that's terrific, people are proud to support the team.

“The players have missed the support, they connect with it, the game is nothing without support, that level of passion inspires the players to new heights and you want that. We go to the Algarve to play Portugal on September 1st, it's a great game, a tough game, going to Portugal and we play Azerbaijan three days later, the two home games should be special.”

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