February date for England’s Aviva visit

ENGLAND are being lined up for a friendly game in the Aviva Stadium early next year.

“February is certainly a date we are looking at,” said an FAI source last night.

The glamour fixture would represent a long-awaited fresh start as the first time the two countries have met since rioting by visiting supporters forced the abandonment of their friendly game at Lansdowne Road in 1995.

There are also unconfirmed reports that the game could even take place as early as this November if neither side is involved in European Championship play-offs and they also avoid each other in the group draw this summer for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

If the game is confirmed it would also be included in the FAI’s new reduced season ticket pricing scheme, which includes six internationals and the FAI Cup final, and kicks off with the European Championship qualifier against Slovakia in September.

According to figures released yesterday, the cheapest tickets under the new pricing structure would mean a parent and child could attend all seven games for a total outlay of €244.

Meanwhile, The King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels looks set to be the venue for this year’s end of season friendly between Ireland and Italy on July 7.

“It’s 99% certain that the game will be in Brussels,” said FAI Chief Executive John Delaney yesterday.

“We have an agreement in place and the agent has just to finalise the venue but it looks like Brussels .”

Formerly the Heysel Stadium, the venue was previously the scene of Ireland ‘s play-off defeat to Belgium in 1997 which denied Mick McCarthy’s side a place in the 1998 World Cup finals.


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