|The FAI tonight welcomed today’s announcement by UEFA allowing the return of fans, up to a maximum 30% of capacity, to all international and club games under UEFA’s jurisdiction. The ruling will begin with next week’s national team fixtures, and the FAI will now discuss today’s developments with the Irish Government.
Gary Owens, FAI Interim Chief Executive Photo: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson
The FAI believe that this UEFA decision could help facilitate the return of Ireland fans in significant numbers for upcoming home fixtures involving the senior men, senior women and Under-21 men’s teams. It could also allow, they believe, for Dundalk fans to attend their home games in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League following tonight’s win over KI Klaksvik at the Aviva Stadium.
Under the UEFA ruling however, no visiting fans will be permitted to attend International or club fixtures, including next week’s UEFA EURO 2020 Play-Off Semi-Final away to Slovakia.
As of now, the ruling will also be superseded by Slovakian government guidelines forbidding spectators to attend the Play-Off Semi-Final in Bratislava.
Current COVID-19 guidelines will not allow any fans to attend the upcoming UEFA Nations League clash with Wales, at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, October 11th, but the FAI say that this will be monitored on an ongoing basis in collaboration with the Government and Health Authorities.
The Finnish FA have informed the FAI that they expect to have home supporters present for the UEFA Nations League clash with Ireland in Helsinki on Wednesday, October 14th.
Interim FAI CEO Gary Owens said: “The FAI welcomes today’s announcement and looks forward to welcoming Ireland fans back to UEFA fixtures in the very near future.
“This is a major step forward for football and a timely boost for the Association. We are currently working with our colleagues in the IRFU and the GAA on a joint proposal to Government to facilitate the return of fans to all our games.
“This news tonight is another step in the right direction and we will look forward to outlining it to Government and examining what it means for Irish football.
“Any decision to allow fans back to UEFA fixtures featuring Irish international and club teams will of course be taken in conjunction with all Government agencies and with the safety of those supporters our prime concern.”