Monday 23 September 2019

Scramble for Gibraltar as Irish tickets limited to 300

FAI face logistical headache as Euro opener likely to get go-ahead for 2,300-capacity venue

The FAI are operating on the basis that the match will take place in the 2,300-capacity Victoria Stadium. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The FAI are operating on the basis that the match will take place in the 2,300-capacity Victoria Stadium. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The FAI are in discussions with the Gibraltar FA about the logistics of their plan to host March's Euro 2020 qualifier in the 2,300-capacity Victoria Stadium.

Gibraltar's determination to stage the game on their own territory will seriously restrict the availability of tickets for travelling fans that want to watch Mick McCarthy's first game in charge.

Under the existing rules, it's likely that the figure will be as low as 300 and that would include allocations for sponsors and VIP guests.

Gibraltar played their three UEFA Nations League matches at the venue and have indicated to the FAI that they are confident of getting the green light from UEFA to stage all of their Group D matches in the venue.

Abbotstown officials have been in contact with their counterparts about the technicalities and the FAI will make a site visit to explore the facilities for themselves.

UEFA had previously indicated that Gibraltar would need to bring their ground up to 8,000-capacity but European football's governing body has previous for granting dispensations.

And, at this moment in time, the FAI are operating on the basis that the match will take place there.

Sunday's Euro 2020 draw has given the association clarity in terms of plotting out a schedule for next year.

There are two spare friendly dates in September and November and it's possible - but not guaranteed - that two extra Dublin matches will be organised.

McCarthy will have a tight turnaround ahead of the March double-header with Gibraltar and Georgia in terms of getting to know his new squad.

A summer training camp ahead of the trip to Denmark is an idea that is being considered.

Irish Independent

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