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FAI pushing for Wembley friendly

THE timing of England's planned Brazilian tour will determine if the FAI secure a money-spinning friendly at Wembley next summer.

Negotiations have been ongoing with the FA for some time, and the original plan was a visit from England to Dublin to make up for the controversy of their last trip in 1995, which was abandoned due to crowd trouble.

However, the FAI have struggled to find a date, with plans for the game before Euro 2012 scuppered by UEFA's insistence that competing teams could not face each other in friendly action beforehand.

And 2013 discussions have been complicated because the FA are celebrating their 150th anniversary and are keen to play a number of games at home. They are scheduled to play Scotland in August.

Therefore, talks with the FAI revolve around a Wembley date next May or June, and a return clash in Dublin sometime in 2014. The window is relatively tight due to the venue's hosting of the Champions League final on May 25.

Ireland face a World Cup qualifier with Faroe Islands on June 7.

England want to embark on a fact-finding mission in Brazil ahead of the World Cup and have pencilled in games with the locals and Uruguay ahead of the start of the Confederations Cup on June 15.

The FA need to clarify the dates of that adventure before agreeing any Irish fixture. The weekend of June 2 is the most logical solution.

Irish Independent