FAI and Qatar FA agree to chan...


FAI and Qatar FA agree to change of friendly fixture dates

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The FAI and the Qatar Football Association have agreed, in conjunction with UEFA, to change the dates of their upcoming friendly games.

Last December FIFA decided to parachute Qatar into the Republic of Ireland's 2022 World Cup qualification group in order to give the Gulf state some high-profile friendly matches ahead of the tournament.

Stephen Kenny’s side will now play the away fixture in the Hungarian city of Debrecen - Qatar’s home base for the upcoming international window - on Tuesday, 30 March (k/o: 20:45 local).

The sides will now play at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, 12 October.

The March fixture against Qatar at the Nagyerdei Stadion follows Ireland’s opening Group A qualifier away to Serbia on Wednesday, 24 March and the home game against Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 27 March.

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 that 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 said: “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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FAI Qatar Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny World Cup 2022

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