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Delaney: English friendly on the cards if we're kept apart in Euro draw

FAI will work with Football Association counterparts immediately after the draw in Kiev on Friday.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni and association chief John Delaney.
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni and association chief John Delaney.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF Ireland chief John Delaney has indicated that a friendly with England is likely if the sides aren’t drawn in the same Euro 2012 group this week.

UEFA chiefs will draw the European Championships pools in a ceremony in Ukraine on Friday morning.

Speaking this morning on RTE radio, Delaney said the challenge game – which was mooted before the play-off second leg against Estonia recently – depends on next summer’s fixtures.

“If we don’t draw England on Friday in the draw in Kiev, there’s a real chance that sooner rather than later they will be coming to the Aviva for a friendly match,” he said on Morning Ireland.

“I think a lot of countries in relation to other friendlies have done deals with each other. We’d have some that we can also enact, but we have to see first who we draw on Friday.

“There’s no point playing somebody who you’re going to play in June in a major tournament in a friendly between now and then. Immediately when the draw is done on Friday, we’ll be able to look at what friendlies we’re going to have in February and in May to prepare for what’s going to be a great summer, not only for Irish soccer but for the public in general.”

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who will now stay on for another two years, confirmed two weeks ago that there have been tentative talks between the FA and the FAI over the past few years.

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“Maybe we already have this appointment,” he said, “We have spoken, for two years maybe. Two years we ask them but the diary was busy. Now I think England accept. We wait.

England’s only confirmed warm-up game to date is a rescheduled friendly against Holland at Wembley on 29 February. The wait since the abandoned game at the old Lansdowne Rd in 1995 may be over.

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