The Irish team (file pic). Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Change Of Plan

Ireland to play Qatar in Hungary later this month

The fixture had originally been due to take place in Dublin.

IRELAND’S UPCOMING fixture against Qatar will take place later this month in Debrecen, Hungary, the FAI have confirmed.

The 2022 World Cup hosts were assigned to Ireland’s qualifying group to play a series of home and away friendly matches against the other teams in Group A.

They were originally due to face the Boys in Green in Dublin later this month, but the fixtures have been reversed, with the Ireland team’s ‘away’ game now scheduled for 30 March, while the Aviva clash between the pair has been pencilled in for 12 October.

Both associations agreed to the reversal of fixtures, in conjunction with Uefa, with the match at the Nagyerdei Stadion following Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers away to Serbia (24 March) and home against Luxembourg (27 March).

A statement explained: “The Qatar FA had originally planned to base their training camp in Austria and to play Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in Vienna ahead of their trip to Dublin. Luxembourg’s visit to Vienna would have curtailed both Luxembourg and Qatar coming to Dublin as Austria is on the Irish Government’s list of Category 2 countries, which require strict quarantine rules for anybody visiting Ireland having spent time in Austria.

“Qatar will now host Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in Hungary before the Ireland game.”

An FAI spokesperson added: “With the ever-changing situation in relation to travel restrictions around Covid-19 and Qatar’s agreement to move their matches out of Vienna, we have now ensured that the first home World Cup qualifier will take place in Dublin against Luxembourg.

“It has also been agreed by all concerned to reverse the Qatar fixtures and play Qatar in Debrecen this month and welcome them to Dublin in October when it is possible that we will have Ireland fans at the game as the battle against Covid-19 continues.” 

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