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Page last updated at 14:51 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 15:51 UK

Kennedy wants stadium at Ormeau

Raymond Kennedy
Raymond Kennedy is a fan of the Ormeau site in Belfast

Irish Football Association president Raymond Kennedy would like the proposed national stadium to be built at Ormeau Park in Belfast.

Kennedy believes the Maze is no longer an option for the stadium which would accommodate football, rugby and GAA.

"I would love to have a nice, spanking new stadium at Ormeau Park," he said.

Kennedy added that the IFA, Linfield and the government will meet this week to discuss the disputed international contract at Windsor Park.

The IFA and Linfield have already held an "exploratory" meeting over the issue, which could he heading for the courts.

The governing body wants to terminate a deal signed in 1984 stating that all home internationals would be played at Linfield's Windsor Park for 104 years.

A question mark has been placed over Windsor Park's future suitability for international football after a report for the government said there was a high risk of fire in the South Stand, used by up to 4,000 spectators.

The report's executive summary said Windsor did not comply with UEFA requirements in a number of areas.

"However, with the completion of a programme of works to address major deficiencies and with UEFA taking a 'practical' view, it is likely Windsor can continue as a venue for internationals in the short term," it said.

The major challenge for Kennedy is finding a long-term home for the Northern Ireland team.

"We have to look at where we are going to play our games in the short-term and that has to be a refurbishment at Windsor Park.

I want a stadium to play football matches and I want them in Northern Ireland, not anywhere else.

Raymond Kennedy

"We'll be meeting the government shortly and if that short-term agreement with them comes to pass then maybe we'll look at a long-term solution.

"I know Linfield have plans for a longer term solution - I don't know whether we can buy into that or not.

"Beggars can't be choosers. I want a stadium to play football matches and I want them in Northern Ireland, not anywhere else.

"Belfast City Council have come up with five sites and I would take any one of them."




see also
Windsor Park's future in balance
11 Jun 08 |  Northern Ireland


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