Monday 18 December 2017

Ireland fans' Barca blow

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

IRELAND'S penultimate Euro 2012 qualifier against Andorra will not take place in Barcelona after UEFA again refused the FAI's appeal for a change of venue.

The news will come as a blow to the estimated 5,000 travelling Irish support, many of whom have already booked travel to the Catalan city.

Ireland have played Andorra there twice before -- the minnows have historically moved their biggest games across the border to accommodate large away support.

The match will instead be held in the tiny principality's 1,800-capacity Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella, where the Andorrans hosted Russia and Slovakia earlier in the campaign. Both sides struggled before securing three points.

The FAI are unhappy with the UEFA decision and chief executive John Delaney has offered to raffle his ticket among fans and watch the game in Barcelona, where the association are hoping to set up a fans' zone.

"The FAI expressed its disappointment at the decision and its lateness, which will cause difficulties for supporters," a statement read.

"The decision goes against precedents set in the past when UEFA and FIFA granted permission for games against Andorra to be played in Barcelona."

The game will take place on October 7 with an 8.30 kick-off.

Irish Independent

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