Ireland to face England home and away
Soccer:The Republic of Ireland will face England in a friendly international at Wembley on May 29th, nine days before Giovanni Trapattoni’s side host the Faroe Islands in a World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.
The two sides haven’t met in a full international game since the abandoned friendly played in Lansdowne Road in 1995, with plans for a rematch in subsequent years falling through. The English FA confirmed the fixture alongside matches against Brazil (February 6th, 2013) and Scotland to mark their 150th anniversary.
The Brazilian Federation will return the invitation by welcoming Roy Hodgson’s squad to Rio as part of a two-game tour in early June 2013. It will be the Republic of Ireland’s first game at Wembley since the stadium was rebuilt. England do not play any World Cup qualifiers at the end of the season.
Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington said: “We’re delighted Brazil will kick-off the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations at Wembley. 2013 is a landmark year for The FA and an exciting England fixture programme, in addition to Wembley hosting the UEFA Champions League Final, will form a key part of the celebrations.
“As the most successful footballing nation, with great players and supporters, it will be fantastic to launch this important year in English football's history against such outstanding opponents as Brazil. We also look forward to hosting Republic of Ireland and Scotland at Wembley next year. These matches are sure to evoke great passion among supporters."
The two associations are on the cusp of agreeing a second match between the countries, this time in Dublin; 19 years after rioting English fans forced the game to be abandoned shortly after David Kelly had given the home side a 21st-minute lead. The FAI today confirmed that the Republic will host a friendly clash at the Aviva Stadium with a provisional date having been set for November 2014.
An FAI spokesman said: “The Football Association of Ireland today confirmed that it will play reciprocal away and home friendly matches against England. The first match will take place in Wembley on May 29, 2013 and will form part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations, while the reciprocal match, to be played at Aviva Stadium, is provisionally scheduled for November 2014.”