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Ireland's Nations League trip to Bulgaria confirmed despite pandemic uncertainty

Nations League opener set for Sofia on 3 September.

The Kenny era begins in Sofia.
The Kenny era begins in Sofia.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

STEPHEN KENNY’S FIRST game as Republic of Ireland senior manager will take place in Bulgaria as originally scheduled.

The venue for Ireland’s opening Nations League clash has been surrounded by uncertainty in recent weeks due to Covid-19 restrictions.

But the FAI confirmed this evening that the game will go ahead in Sofia on Thursday 3 September.

“Final details are still under discussion but the fixture will go ahead in Bulgaria as scheduled,” a short statement read.

Bulgaria’s 14-day incidence of reported Covid-19 cases is currently 30 per 100,000 which raised the possibility that the game may have to be switched to a neutral venue, but the decision to play it in Sofia was rubberstamped this week.

Ireland are due to host Finland in the Aviva Stadium on 6 September, three days after the game in Sofia.

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As Bulgaria is not one of Ireland’s ‘Green List’ countries, the FAI will now have to continue their engagement with the Department of Health to see if the travelling party can be allowed an exemption from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. 

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Niall Kelly

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