Tuesday 16 January 2018

Rovers make plea for Tallaght to host Euro clash with Spurs


Shamrock Rovers players celebrate victory over FK Partizan Belgrade
Shamrock Rovers players celebrate victory over FK Partizan Belgrade
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

SHAMROCK ROVERS will learn on Tuesday if they can stage Europa League group games in Tallaght, with the club resisting the temptation to move their Dublin encounters to the Aviva Stadium.

The Hoops hit the jackpot yesterday when they were drawn with Spurs, a major reward for their incredible win over Partizan Belgrade in Serbia on Thursday night.

Russian side Rubin Kazan and Greek outfit PAOK make up Group A, and the venue dilemma for the League of Ireland champions is drawn from the fact that all home matches must take place at the same venue.

The visit of Spurs on December 15 would have huge appeal -- although it would arguably be a safer bet earlier in the group -- but the estimated €200,000 cost of renting the Aviva could be a risk with respect to the other two games.

For symbolic reasons, the Rovers board are keen to stage the matches in Tallaght anyway after working so hard to establish a home in Dublin 24. However, they would need help from South Dublin County Council to install seating that would bring the capacity up to over 8,000, with UEFA having the final say on the decision.

"We are trying to keep the games in Tallaght," said chairman Jonathan Roche.

"The area deserves it and the fans deserve it. The capacity issue is the big one, so we are going to do our best."

Rovers will start their campaign against Rubin Kazan in Dublin on September 15. A trip to White Hart Lane is next, a fortnight later.

"We can do well against a team like Salonika, and Kazan too," said manager Michael O'Neill. "Spurs will be more difficult but we've risen to the occasion before and can do so again."



Irish Independent

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