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Ireland confirmed to play 8-team tournament in Spain

Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia and Wales are all set to compete.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

IRELAND HAVE accepted an invitation to play an eight-team tournament in Spain, it has been confirmed.

Ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier away to Sweden on 12 April, Vera Pauw’s side will compete in next month’s Pinatar Cup in Murcia alongside Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia and Wales.

Ireland’s opening game will be against Poland on 16 February, while the winner will face Hungary or Russia in a semi-final on 19 February.

They could then potentially advance to the final, which takes place on 22 February against one of the other four teams mentioned above.

Should Ireland not reach the final, they could also compete in a game with third place up for grabs, while if they lose in the semi-finals, they will be in the mix to secure fifth place or seventh place in the competition.

A statement added: “There is an agreement in place that Ireland will not play Slovakia in the third game — if drawn together — due to being in the same World Cup Qualifying Group.”

“It is important that we get together as a squad and play at least one game before we take on Sweden in April. This tournament provides us with three games so that is ideal for our preparation to work with the players and give them game-time,” said Pauw in reaction to today’s news.

“Our focus is very much on the qualifying game against Sweden in April, but we plan on giving players opportunities to play in these games and that will help us in our overall preparations.”

Broadcasting arrangements for the tournament have yet to be confirmed while the schedule can be seen below.

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2022 PINATAR CUP

16 February
Match A1 | Wales v Scotland, Pinatar Arena, KO 15:30 (16:30 Irish Time)
Match A2 | Slovakia v Belgium, Pinatar Arena, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
Match B1 | Republic of Ireland v Poland, La Manga, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
Match B2 | Hungary v Russia, La Manga, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)

19 February
A3 | Winner A1 v Winner A2, Pinatar Arena, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
A4 | Runner-up A2 v Runner-up A1, Pinatar Arena, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
B3 | Winner B2 v Winner B1, La Manga, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
B4 | Runner-up B2 v Runner-up B1, La Manga, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)

22 February
Final | Winner A3 v Winner B3, Pinatar Arena, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
3rd Place | Runner-up A3 v Runner-up B3, La Manga, KO 20:30 (19:30 Irish Time)
5th Place | Winner A4 v Winner B4, Pinatar Arena, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)
7th Place | Runner-up A4 v Runner-up B4, La Manga, KO 15:30 (14:30 Irish Time)

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