STEPHEN Kenny's Republic of Ireland side will open their Nations League campaign away to Armenia in June after UEFA agreed to a revised fixture list that accounts for Ukraine’s potential fixture congestion amid the disruption caused by Russia's invasion of the country.
Ireland were due to host Ukraine on June 4th in the opening game of the Nations League, the first of a four-game series in 10 days. But with Ukraine forced to change their schedule to take into account a World Cup play-off semi-final against Scotland, and a possible play-off final against Wales, UEFA have moved Ireland's game away to Armenia from September to the start of the fixture list.
So the Republic will now begin the Nations League in Yerevan, against Armenia, on June 4th, then play at home to Ukraine on June 8th. Ireland are then at home to Scotland on June 11th and finish the June series away to Ukraine, as planned, on June 14th but that tie will be played at a neutral venue.
Poland is understood to have offered to host Ukraine’s preparation camps for the World Cup play-offs and Nations League games in June.
The September games have also been altered, with Ireland away to Scotland on September 24th, a day earlier than planned to account for a refixed Scotland-Ukraine Nations League tie. Ireland now finish up at home to Armenia on September 27th.
Scotland host Ukraine in their World Cup tie on June 1st, with the winners of that tie away to Wales on June 5th. The revised fixture list is a punishing one for Ukraine, who could be asked to play six games in just 13 days. However, there was pressure on all parties to get the World Cup ties played in June and to try to complete the Nations League game as closely as possible to the original fixture list.
“We held very productive and amicable talks with UEFA, FIFA and our fellow Associations this week and we are delighted to accommodate our colleagues in Ukraine with this rescheduling,” said FAI CEO Jonathan Hill. “The FAI and European football stand with the people of Ukraine and we look forward to welcoming them to Dublin on June 8.”
REVISED REPUBLIC OF IRELAND UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES
June 4 | Armenia v Republic of Ireland
June 8 | Republic of Ireland v Ukraine
June 11 | Republic of Ireland v Scotland
June 14 | Ukraine v Republic of Ireland
September 24 | Scotland v Republic of Ireland
September 27 | Republic of Ireland v Armenia