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Still going to Barcelona? Keep an eye out for John Delaney

FAI Chief Exec says he’ll watch the game with fans in Barcelona after UEFA refused to move October’s qualifier against Andorra.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

JOHN DELANEY HAS hit back at UEFA’s stubbornness, insisting that he would rather watch Ireland’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Andorra on TV in Barcelona than attend in person.

The FAI confirmed last night that their request to have October’s game switched had been rejected by UEFA, leaving up to 5,000 travelling Irish supporters out of pocket.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Sport at 7 last night, Delaney promised that the FAI were now hoping to organise a fanzone in Barcelona where those with confirmed travel plans could watch the game together.

And if that proposal does get a green light, the FAI chief exec said that he would watch the game there rather than in Andorra’s 1800-seater Estadi Comunal.

“In my own personal case, I’m going to give my own ticket up to the supporters and I’ll watch the game with the supporters,” Delaney said last night.

“I think it’s right. I’ll raffle my ticket to the supporters and hopefully one lucky supporter will get that.

I’ll travel with the team, I’ll do what I have to do, but I’ll watch the game with the supporters.

Delaney’s gesture was welcomed this afternoon by Labour senator Jimmy Harte, who described UEFA’s call as “a mean decision.”

“As many as 5,000 fans are travelling and I applaud John Delaney for his commitment to watch the game with the fans in Barcelona,” the Donegal North East representative said.

“I intend to be there also and hopefully we will be celebrating a victory despite the regrettable decision made by the UEFA blazers.

The Irish fans deserve better and in these tough economic times the international football authorities should have shown common sense.

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Niall Kelly

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