Ireland women's soccer team to return to competitive action in September

UEFA had already made the decision to put back the Euro finals, which will be staged in England, for a year, from 2021 to 2022.
Ireland women's soccer team to return to competitive action in September

The FAI have confirmed that the senior Irish women’s team are set to play their remaining three European Championship qualifiers this year.

Vera Pauw’s side are currently top of Group 1 but have still to play top seeds Germany home and away as well as an away game against Ukraine, the team they beat 3-2 in Tallaght in the manager’s first match in charge.

The Girls in Green will first take on Germany away on September 19, followed by a trip to Ukraine on October 23, before regulation qualifying concludes with the eagerly awaited visit to Dublin of the Germans on December 1.

In attempting to make history by qualifying for a major tournament for the first time, the team are still in the hunt for automatic qualification but, as a fallback, could also proceed through play-offs, which are now scheduled to take place in April of next year.

UEFA had already made the decision to put back the Euro finals, which will be staged in England, for a year, from 2021 to 2022.

Obviously, all the newly confirmed details concerning the remaining qualifiers will be contingent on developments between now and then in the Covid-19 crisis but it is certainly encouraging news for Pauw and her players that some clarity has been brought to bear by UEFA on a planned return to football for the senior international women’s game.

Responding to the news, Pauw's Assistant Eileen Gleeson said: "It is fantastic to receive confirmation from UEFA that we will return to action this year and get to finish out our group games.

"On the original schedule we would have been preparing to travel to Ukraine next month, but now we know that our games will come in September, October and December

" There is a lot of work to do in advance of those games, especially with some of our players' club seasons still undetermined while some at varying stages of returning to play.

"It is important to note that the fight against Covid-19 continues and that while we are excited by the prospect of football returning, we must continue to follow Government & HSE regulations. This is our first battle to overcome, then we have turn our focus to our games.

"But we are excited to have these games set and know the dates to work towards. We have kept in regular contact with our players, who continue to work on personal fitness programmes, so now it is all about preparing for return to training and ultimately competitive action once we advance further in overcoming Covid-19."

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