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Ireland fail in appeal to move Andorra match to Barcelona

31 August 2011 4,930 views No Comment Written by Ronan

UEFA have decided to reject the FAI’s appeal to move Andorra’s Euro 2012 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland to Barcelona. Both the Andorran FA and the Football Association of Ireland asked for the match to be moved to accommodate fans, but UEFA have turned down the request.

The FAI released a statement yesterday about the ruling. “The FAI expressed its disappointment at the decision and it lateness, coming after the 60 day period normally required by protocol which will cause difficulties for supporters.

“The decision goes against precedents set in the past when UEFA and FIFA granted permission for games against Andorra to be played in Barcelona, as lately as England’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Andorra which was played, with permission, in Barcelona.

“The Football Association of Ireland is already exploring the possibility of arranging a fan zone in Barcelona to accommodate fans who had made travel arrangements prior to today’s UEFA decision.”

This morning, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney spoke to RTE Radio about the decision. “I’m very disappointed for a number of reasons. The lateness of the notification is something that is incorrect and wrong and also the fact that thousands of our supporters are travelling to Barcelona. In the past UEFA have given derogation to countries like England, Holland and even ourselves to have the game in Barcelona.

“It doesn’t make any sense to me. This is not about us playing a football match and looking for a competitive advantage, this to me is about the supporters and their ability to come and watch the team play. I think it’s a very bad decision by UEFA. I wish there we could appeal but I don’t think so. All we can do now is look at trying to make arrangements for fans in Barcelona in getting a fanzone going for the supporters who have booked flights, to get them to an area where they can actually watch the game. If the supporters want to watch football, they should be able to watch the game.”

The match takes place on October 7th at 21.30 CET, at the 1,800 capacity Estadi Comunal d’Aixovall. Some confusion has emerged as to the venue in Andorra, as there is a smaller 800 capacity stadium with a similar name: the Estadi Comunal d’Andorra la Vella. All Andorra’s group games so far have taken place in this stadium, but their highest attendance has been just 500 against Armenia. It is expected that away support will outnumber the Andorra fans. Andorra last played a home game outside their capital in 2008 against England in World Cup 2010 qualification.

Related posts:

  1. Andorra agree to move Irish fixture to Barcelona
  2. Olsen: “Ireland try to play like Barcelona”
  3. Match Stats: Ireland v Andorra
  4. Lineup: Ireland v Andorra
  5. Ireland v Uruguay: Match History

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