Irish boss wants to take on Italy in June friendly

IRELAND could be playing Italy in America in June in a repeat of the celebrated 1994 World Cup game.

Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday mentioned the possibility of a friendly against the Italians in New York this summer, although it later emerged that Boston or Philadelphia is the more likely host city.

Although nothing is as yet confirmed, it was revealed that an approach has been made to the Italian Football Federation, via a third party, and the FAI are now awaiting a response.

If the trip does get the green light, it’s likely that Ireland would also play one other friendly against as yet unnamed opposition on the east coast, the games to follow just days after the European Championship qualifier away to Macedonia on Saturday, June 4.

Trapattoni said: “At the moment it is only a possibility, an idea, but we hope it happens because it would be very important experience for this group.”

Meanwhile, Trapattoni yesterday deflected a question about Jermaine Pennant’s expressed desire to play for Ireland.

“Why do we all have all these requests from supposedly Irish players? I’m glad that ever since I have been here, there has been a lot of interest from different players expressing in the press their wish to play for Ireland. But it is important if they wish to play for us that they must be proud and determined.”

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