Just 10,100 fans will be permitted to attend Ireland’s World Cup qualifier in Portugal next Wednesday – which could see Cristiano Ronaldo become the world's all-time leading international scorer.
Health authorities will only allow one-third of Faro’s 30,305-seater Estádio Algarve to be opened for the game in which Ronaldo is looking for the goal to surpass Iran forward Ali Daei’s 109 haul.
Earlier this month, the FAI confirmed that Fifa and Uefa had prohibited away fans from attending any of the September internationals due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns.
Portugal lead Group A on seven points, marginally ahead of Serbia on goal difference.
Back-to-back defeats in the opening double-header against Serbia and Luxembourg in March severely dented Ireland’s chances of challenging for a first World Cup berth in 20 years.
They will require most of the nine points available from the three matches against Portugal, Azerbaijan, and Serbia to stand any hope of recovering to compete for a spot at the finals in Qatar next year.