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The Pat's squad celebrate their win in Sofia.
The Pat's squad celebrate their win in Sofia.
Image: Kostadin Andonov/INPHO

Pat's league clash with Shelbourne called off as they remain stranded in Sofia after European heroics

Pat’s have been unable to source a charter flight back to Ireland, and won’t arrive back in Ireland until Sunday.
Aug 5th 2022, 9:41 PM 9,696 6

Updated Aug 5th 2022, 11:11 PM

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC’S SSE Airtricity Premier Division clash with Shelbourne on Sunday has been called off as Pat’s remain stranded in Bulgaria following their sensational Europa Conference League qualifier victory against CSKA Sofia. 

Pat’s pulled off one of the great Irish results in Europe by beating CSKA Sofia 1-0 last night, but a day on from the game, they remain stranded in Bulgaria having been unable to source a charter flight home. They flew to Sofia on a charter flight from Knock airport. 

They are now not expected home until Sunday morning, which has led the FAI to call off Sunday’s league clash with Shelbourne. In a statement, the FAI say the game “will not go ahead as scheduled”, though did not confirm the game would be refixed, instead saying the matter would be reviewed. 

“Following tonight’s confirmation from St Patrick’s Athletic that their squad will not return to Ireland from their recent European game in Bulgaria until Sunday morning, it has been decided that the SSE Airtricity Premier Division game between Shelbourne and St Pat’s on Sunday afternoon, August 7th, at Tolka Park will now not go ahead as scheduled”, read a statement. “The FAI will now review this matter internally and a further announcement will be made in due course regarding next steps.

European fixtures involving Irish sides have been beset by travel issues so far, with FC Shkupi releasing an incendiary statement ahead of their European clash with Shamrock Rovers, describing the face their charter had to fly via Shannon airport as an “evil.” Their plane could neither land nor take off from Dublin airport owing to staffing issues. Rovers themselves flew via Shannon to their first European tie of the season in Malta, while they had to fly on a series of different commercial flights to their subsequent tie in Bulgaria to face Ludogorets. 

Updated at 23.10 with FAI statement  

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Gavin Cooney

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