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Kenny pleased with clarity over play-off

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Stephen Kenny has expressed his satisfaction with confirmation that October's crunch Euro 2020 play-off semi-final with Slovakia will be his third game in charge of Ireland and not his first.

The new Ireland boss will get to use September's UEFA Nations League double-header with Bulgaria and Finland to spend time with the players ahead of the Bratislava shoot-out on Thursday October 8.

UEFA's Executive Committee decided on new dates for the 2020 club and international calendar at their meeting in Switzerland yesterday.

The Slovakia game has been added to the start of the October international window.

And the winners of that game will take on either Bosnia Herzegovina or Northern Ireland a month later on Thursday, November 12.

UEFA will consult with the local authorities in each country to determine if the fixtures will be behind-closed-doors affairs.

"I am pleased that we will get two competitive games in September to help us in our preparations before Slovakia," said Kenny. "These UEFA Nations League games are (also) very important games in terms of World Cup rankings and potential play-off."

Sept 3: Bulgaria (A)

Sep 6: Finland (H)

Oct 8: Slovakia (A) play-off semi-final

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*Oct 11: Wales (H)

*Oct 14: Finland (A)

*Nov 12: Bosnia/N Ireland (A) (if Ireland beat Slovakia)

** Nov 13: Wales (A)

** Nov 16: Bulgaria (H) (was set for Nov 16)

▶ If Ireland lose the play-off semi-final, there will be a friendly on Nov 11 or Nov 12

*Current likely date, TBC. **Initially Set for this date, but to be rescheduled


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