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Monday, May 31, 1999 Published at 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK


World: Europe

Dublin to debate Yugoslav soccer match

The Ireland match looks like being played under protest

Irish ministers are to discuss plans for a controversial European Championship football match between Ireland and Yugoslavia.

Ministers and players have objected to Saturday's tie because of Serbian actions in Kosovo.

But championship organisers UEFA are insisting the match, at Dublin's Lansdowne Road stadium, must go ahead.

A cabinet session of the Irish Government will discuss the situation on Tuesday.

Anthem banned

There have been suggestions that Prime Minister Bertie Ahern could authorise a refusal of visas to the Yugoslav team.

For the first time, there will be no government representation at an Ireland international match.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has ordered that there will be no official hospitality for the visiting team, the Yugoslav anthem will not be played and their national flag not flown at the stadium.

A spokesman said: "It will be obvious to everyone involved that they are not wanted here."

Irish Sports Minister Dr Jim McDaid is expected to urge European Union colleagues to get the tie banned when they meet in Brussels on Tuesday.

Ireland's state-backed RTE television network said coverage of the game would include political opposition to the tie.

The FAI said they would not allow the match to be shown in Serbia.



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25 May 99 | Football
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