Brussels likely to host Ireland and Italy

BRUSSELS could be unlikely venue for the Republic of Ireland’s glamour friendly in June with Italy.

Moves to bring the two sides to New York have foundered, but plans are afoot for an end of season clash in the Belgian capital on June 7 — the third meeting between the countries since Giovanni Trapattoni took over as Republic manager.

It will bring a hectic two weeks of action for Trapattoni’s squad to a mouthwatering conclusion. Carling Nations Cup games against Northern Ireland (May 24) and Scotland on May 29 will be followed by the crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia in Skopje on June 4 before finishing the international season three days later against Cesare Prandelli’s Italian side.

Portugal were also an option, but to gain maximum value from the friendly and keep as many of the topline internationals involved beyond the Macedonia game, only top level opposition would suffice.

Once New York was ruled out — apparently on the say-so of Italian FA president Giancarlo Abete — agents working to find a venue agreed on mainland Europe and not London, as has been suggested.

It now appears that the game will take place in Belgium, most probably in the capital, Brussels.


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