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FAI hopeful of having 25,000 spectators at Ireland’s September World Cup qualifiers

Stephen Kenny

FAI hopeful of big Ireland attendances.

The FAI are hopeful of having “20,000 or 25,000 plus” spectators at Ireland’s September World Cup qualifiers in the Aviva Stadium.

Stephen Kenny’s side are due to host Azerbaijan on September 4th before Serbia on September 7th and FAI CEO Jonathan Hill is already planning on filling the Aviva Stadium with as many fans as possible.

“20,000 – 25,000” at Ireland World Cup qualifiers.

“We’ve made good progress there and I think the Government is pleased with the way pilot events have been handled,” he said.

“They are keen to work with us to maximise the opportunity within the advice we are getting from the medics.

‘I’m hopeful that we can have 20,000 or 25,000 plus for the September games. But I stress immediately nothing has been agreed in relation to that.”

 

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Luxembourg inflicted a World Cup qualifying defeat on Ireland.

Ireland have yet to play in front of a home crowd under Kenny due to coronavirus-related restrictions and in four matches at an empty Aviva, the manager has yet to see his side score a goal.

Kenny’s first home game resulted in a 1-0 Uefa Nations League defeat to Finland before 0-0 draws with Wales and Bulgaria in the same competition.

Most recently at Lansdowne Road, Ireland suffered a damaging World Cup qualifying defeat to Luxembourg, a result which sees hopes of reaching Qatar 2022 hanging by a thread.

Massive World Cup qualifiers ahead at Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s home matches with Azerbaijan and Serbia will come in the days following a trip to Faro to face Portugal and Hill hopes that by the time Cristiano Ronaldo et al visit Dublin for the return on November 11th, a significant crowd will be in place.

“I’m certainly hopeful that we can progress to the point at which we have a really strong crowd for that final game against Portugal in November,” he added.

“The message is that we are ready and able, we think, to deliver much bigger crowds on perhaps a slightly different basis than the two-metre social distancing.”

Bohemian FC will host Dudelange of Luxembourg this coming Thursday, in front of 8,000 supporters at the Aviva Stadium.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the ground would host the 2024 Europa League Final after missing out on hosting matches at Euro 2020.

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