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John Delaney: Republic of Ireland to play two group games in Dublin if we qualify for Euro 2020

A “relieved” FAI CEO John Delaney revealed the Republic of Ireland will play two of their three group games in the Aviva, if the team qualifies for Euro 2020.

The news comes after the successful Irish bid to host three games and a last 16 match in the competition was revealed earlier today.

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Robbie Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Ucha Lobzhanidze, Georgia. The Ireland boss has conceded that his side's display left plenty of room for improvement and one issue was the manner in which lone striker Robbie Keane was isolated for periods of the game
(David Maher / SPORTSFILE)

Robbie Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Ucha Lobzhanidze, Georgia. The Ireland boss has conceded that his side's display left plenty of room for improvement and one issue was the manner in which lone striker Robbie Keane was isolated for periods of the game (David Maher / SPORTSFILE)

SPORTSFILE

Robbie Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Ucha Lobzhanidze, Georgia. The Ireland boss has conceded that his side's display left plenty of room for improvement and one issue was the manner in which lone striker Robbie Keane was isolated for periods of the game (David Maher / SPORTSFILE)

Delaney was speaking on RTE Radio’s News at One and admitted there were “politics involved” in the bid.

“You have to go and meet everyone involved in the bid. We had to spend a lot of time doing that. Today we have been awarded the biggest field sport event ever awarded to Ireland. I am delighted and relieved.” 

He said the successful bid will be worth “tens of millions” to the Irish economy.

“Thousands of football fans will be coming into Dublin. It is only when we see who is in those groups that we will know.”

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The FAI have won their bid to host three Euro 2020 group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The FAI have won their bid to host three Euro 2020 group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

The FAI have won their bid to host three Euro 2020 group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

He said it is “guaranteed that two of our home games will be in Dublin, if we qualify. But there is the little matter of qualifying for Euro 2016 first.”

Delaney didn’t rule out England being housed in Dublin for the group games – if they qualified.

“They could be. I think Scotland and ourselves will partner one group. But if we were dreaming, we could have England and Ireland at the Aviva in Euro 2020.”

He said that Wembley being awarded a semi-final and the final "helped our bid".

“That meant Wembley would not be hosting a group stage so it really helped us,” he said. “Once England got a semi-final and the final, it opened the field up for us.

Delaney revealed that he was “not a big supporter” of the failed Scotland-Ireland bid in 2008.

“I didn’t think we had a realistic chance, and we didn’t. This was a far more realistic offering. There was a big sense of relief when we got pulled out today.”

Delaney also said that we qualified, we would “stay in the geographical area, if we qualified for the competition.”

Earlier today, Dublin was revealed as one of the 13 host cities for the showcase of international European football

This morning in Geneva, the UEFA Executive Committee voted on the respective bids, and the results were made known just after midday.

UEFA EURO 2020 is being staged across Europe to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition, creating a pan European festival of football that Ireland will now play a key part in delivering. 

Dublin scored well in terms of transport and accommodation facilities after the successful staging of the 2011 Europa League final.

The staging of four Euro 2020 football matches in the Aviva Stadium could be worth between €50-€100m for the city, according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

“Depending on which teams are drawn to play in Dublin, the four matches will provide a significant boost for the city," said Dublin Chamber chief executive Gina Quin

The matches will be held at the Aviva Stadium.

The hosting of three group games and one round of sixteen fixture in Dublin is expected to provide a significant boost to the economy, generating massive tourism exposure for Ireland before and after the games.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring who travelled to Geneva to assist the bid said,

“It is a marvellous opportunity for our nation to be part of one of the world’s top sporting events and a fantastic opportunity for Irish football fans to enjoy such a prestigious event on their own home soil."

Dublin's Lord Mayor Christy Burke also welcomed the announcement: 

“Dublin City Council is delighted with today’s announcement that Dublin will be a host city for the UEFA EURO 2020. We applaud UEFA’s decision to bring  EURO 2020 to Dublin. Dublin City Council, in its joint bid with the FAI to bring the UEFA EURO 2020 here, highlighted the city’s first class transport and communications infrastructure as well as the city’s established reputation for staging successful international events."

Scotland's Hampden Park also won the right to host three group games and a last 16 match.

London's Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and the final of the Euro 2020 championship.

The 90,000-seat stadium, which staged the Champions League finals in 2011 and 2013, beat off a rival bid from Munich for the final three matches of the tournament.

The quarter-finals and three group matches will be held in Munich, Baku, Rome and St Petersburg. The other host cities, which will hold three group games and a last-16 game, are Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Budapest and Brussels.

Online Editors