A final decision is expected early next week on the venue for Ireland’s opening Euro 2020 qualifier away to Gibraltar on March 23.
According to the FAI, the Gibraltar FA selected their Victoria Stadium as the venue for the game ahead of the Uefa deadline but it has subsequently emerged they are still in talks with Uefa about the suitability of the small venue — where Gibraltar played their Nations League games — to host Euro qualifiers.
Previously, it was reported the FAI secured the promise of at least 500 tickets in the 2,000 capacity stadium for Irish fnas. In an update yesterday, they advised fans intending to travel not to amend their plans until official venue confirmation from Uefa.
Ireland’s only previous away meeting with Gibraltar, a Euro 2016 qualifier which Martin O’Neill’s team won 4-0 in 2015, was staged in Faro, the capital of Portugal’s Algarve.
Meanwhile, the FAI have also announced two friendly games in Dublin for Mick McCarthy’s side later this year. Ireland will welcome Bulgaria to Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, September 10, which five days after the hosts play Switzerland in Dublin in a Euro 2020 qualifier. Then, on November 14, New Zealand will be the visitors to Dublin, four days before Ireland complete their qualification fixtures in Group D with a home clash against Denmark.
The two friendly games bring the total number of internationals in 2019 to 10, six of which will be at home.
Bulgaria are ranked 46th in the world and this will be the 10th time facing Ireland. Ireland have never played New Zealand at senior level.