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Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK


Sport: Football

Dublin Euro 2000 game on

Coach Mick McCarthy (centre) will have to prepare for the game

European football's governing body says the Republic of Ireland's European Championship qualifier with Yugoslavia should go ahead as planned in Dublin next month.


Steve May reports for BBC Radio 5 Live
But Uefa have delayed a final decision until 26 May - just a week before the game is due to be played at Lansdowne Road.

A special Task Force set up to deal with the current situation in Yugoslavia decided that the country be allowed to stay in Euro 2000.

But the Uefa executive committee will reassess developments in the Balkan region when they meet before the European Cup final in Barcelona at the end of the month.

The Football Association of Ireland had hoped for a definite decision this week on the 5 June fixture.


Bernard O'Byrne: "Football is Football"
FAI chief executive Bernard O'Byrne admitted to some concerns at playing the fixture but said they had to accept the decision.

"Football is football and we try and keep it out of politics." he said.

"We are all upset at the terrible sight we are seeing on our television screens every night."

Civil rights

But O'Byrne added that picking and choosing opponents because of their government's actions was very difficult.

"I think if we started to look at the civil rights CV's of every country we have every played down through the years, our international schedule might be considerably curtailed."

The Yugoslavs have already made arrangements for their players to stay at a hotel in Dublin.

Most of the squad live outside their homeland and will make their own way to Ireland for the game.

Maltese game also on

Uefa also ruled that Yugoslavia will be allowed to play their match with Malta - scheduled for Belgrade on 9 June - outside the country.

The Republic say that is unfair to them and they now want their 1-0 defeat in Belgrade in November declared null and void before a replay is held.





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