U2 could deny Rovers a play day in Turin


U2 MAY deny fellow Dubliners Shamrock Rovers the opportunity of playing Juventus in Turin this summer.  Rovers will play a glamour tie against Juventus in the third round of the Europa League qualifiers if they can overcome Bnei Yehufa of Tel Aviv in the second qualifying round next week.

But with U2 scheduled to play the Stadio Olimpico on August 6th the second leg of the third round clash will now be played some 300km away from Turin in Modena.

“Apparently U2 have the stadium booked as part of their European tour so the venue is being moved to Modena no matter who progresses to play Juventus. So many people outside of Turin follow Juve the stadium at Modena will probably be full to capacity anyway,” said Shamrock Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche.

The potential third-round tie gives Michael O’Neill’s side added incentive for overcoming Bnei Yehuda of Tel Aviv next week.

Rovers drew the first leg 1-1 against the Israeli side at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday night thanks to an injury-time equaliser from Robert Bayly. If they progress they will host the illustrious Old Lady of Italian football on July 29th before travelling to Turin for the return leg a week later.

“It’s a great draw for either us or Bnei Yehuda,” Roche agreed. “We had a tough game here in Tallaght on Thursday night, and it is set to be an even more difficult task for us on Thursday in Tel Aviv.

“Getting through to the next Europa League qualifying round would be the biggest prize, but the prospect of playing a club like Juventus does make it even more mouth-watering.

“It is also a good draw in terms of logistics; it would be a lot easier to get to Italy than some of the other countries that were in the draw. But we’re just taking it one step at a time,” he added.

Rovers would stand to make in excess of €400,000 over the two legs from gate receipts and television rights.

When Shamrock Rovers hosted a friendly with Real Madrid last summer they added extra seating to the stadium, something that would not comply with Uefa regulations for the Europa League.

It remains likely, however, Rovers will play the home game at Tallaght Park, which has a capacity of 6,000, rather than opting to move to a bigger stadium in Dublin.

Bohemians, meanwhile, will play former Uefa Cup champions Anderlecht in the third round of the Champions League qualifiers if they can overcome challenge of The New Saints (TNS) in Wales next week.

Bohemians hold a 1-0 advantage going into the second leg of the second round match against TNS thanks to a Killian Brennan headed goal at Dalymount Park on Tuesday night.

Should Pat Fenlon’s side prevail they will host the Belgian champions, on either June 27th or 28th before the return leg in Belgium a week later.




Non-champions route:Ajax (Ned) v PAOK Salonika (Gre), Dynamo Kiev (Ukr) v Ghent (Bel), Young Boys (Swi) v Fenerbahce (Tur), Braga (Por) v Celtic (Sco), Unirea Urziceni (Rom) v Zenit St Petersburg (Rus).

Champions route draw:SK Liepajas Metalurgs (Lat) or Sparta Prague (Cze) v Inter Baku (Azerbaijan) or Lech Poznan (Pol), Aktobe Lento (Kaz) or Olimpi Rustavi (Geo) v Hapoel Tel Aviv (Isr) or Zeljeznicar Sarajevo (Bos), Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol) or Dinamo Tirana (Alb) v Dinamo Zagreb (Cro) or Koper (Slo), Litex Lovech (Bul) or Rudar (Mont) v Birkirkara (Malt) or Zilina (Slov), FC Levadia Tallinn (Est) or Debrecen (Hun) v Basel (Swi), AIK Stockholm (Swe) or Jeunesse Esch (Lux) v Linfield (N Ire) or Rosenborg Trondheim (Nor), Partizan Belgrade (Serb) or Pyunik Yerevan (Arm) v Ekranas Panevezys (Lit) or HJK Helsinki (Fin), BATE Borisov (Bul) or FH (Ice) v FC Copenhagen (Den), Bohemians (Ire) or The New Saints (Wals) v Anderlecht (Bel), Omonia Nicosia (Cyp) or Renova Cepciste (Mac) v Salzburg (Aus) or HB (Far).

First legs to be played on July 27th/28th. Second legs to be played on August 3rd/4th.

The winners of the five non-champions route ties will follow Auxerre, Sevilla, Tottenham Hotspur, Sampdoria and Werder Bremen into the play-off round.

The 10 champions route winners will meet each other at the same stage.



Liverpool (Eng) v Rabotnicki (Mac) or MIKA Ashtarak (Arm), Maritimo (Por) or Sporting Fingal (Ire) v FC Honka (Fin) or Bangor City (Wal), CSKA Sofia (Bul) v Cliftonville (N Ire or Cibalia (Cro), Shamrock Rovers (Ire) or Bnei Yehuda (Isr) v Juventus (Ita), Nordsjaelland (Den) v Sporting (Por), Fehervar (Hun) or Maribor (Slove) v Hibernian (Sco), KFK Siauliai (Lit) or Wisla Krakow (Pol) v Portadown (NIre) or Garabagh Agdam (Aze), Aalesund (Nor) v Motherwell (Sco) or Breidablik (Ice), Kalmar (Swe) or Dacia Chisinau (Mol) v Levski Sofia (Bul) or Dundalk (Ire), Galatasaray (Tur) v OFK Beograd (Ser) or FC Torpedo Zhodino (Bela).