FAI plans tournament to help teams prepare for Europe

Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and Bohemians would take part

The FAI intends to run a competition to help the four Airtricity League clubs that have qualified for European competition prepare for their qualifying games. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The FAI intends to run a competition to help the four Airtricity League clubs that have qualified for European competition prepare for their qualifying games. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

The FAI has confirmed its intention to stage a tournament over the summer to help the four Airtricity League clubs that have qualified for European competition prepare for their qualifying games.

Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and Bohemians will be allowed to return to squad training on June 8th ahead of the event with players set to be tested for Covid-19 from May 26th.

The association intends, it says, to use the preparations of the clubs and the tournament itself as a pilot project for a wider return to competitive football, with talks still ongoing about how the two divisions of the Airtricity League might be restarted.

The question of how the early stages of the two main European club competitions will be completed is expected to be addressed when Uefa meets on May 27th and the intention is to allow Peamount United commence training when dates for the women’s Champions League have been confirmed.

In the meantime, the association is appealing to clubs not to restart any activities.

“My advice to clubs is not to return to training when we enter Phase One of the Government Roadmap on Monday, May 18th, not to open their grounds and pitches, even to groups of four, and not to consider collective training or playing football until the medical evidence suggests otherwise,” said Dr Alan Byrne, who has been appointed by Sport Ireland to its Medical Advisory Group..

“Decisive actions by our clubs now, will improve the chances of a safer return to football for everyone.”

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