UEFA must give green light for England tie
THE FAI require special dispensation from UEFA if England are to visit Dublin for a friendly before Euro 2012, WRITES Daniel McDonnell.
CEO John Delaney is keen for the game go ahead after the nations were kept apart in the draw. However, UEFA have decreed that competing teams cannot play each other in friendlies 30 days before the tournament starts.
But a selection of countries, including Ireland, have sought a relaxtion of that rule so England can visit in May. "The bigger countries have been asking and have made representations," said Delaney. "They (England) still want to play us."
One consequence of yesterday's draw is that Ireland are set to take on the Czech Republic in Dublin on February 29. The Czechs were due to take on Greece in a friendly on that date until they were landed in the same group.
However, one negative for Ireland is that a planned pre-tournament training camp in Florence may be in jeopardy after drawing the Italians. Giovanni Trapattoni had indicated to Delaney that a trip to his native country was ideal before setting off for Poland, but the 72-year-old told Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli he is likely to take his team elsewhere, with Portugal a likely alternative.