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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Irish travel plans put to the test
Shay Given celebrates after Ireland's 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia
Goalkeeper Shay Given is on his way to Korea

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Ireland may be celebrating qualifying for the next stage of the World Cup, but it has landed one former Republic international with a heavy workload.

Ex-footballer Ray Treacy is the official tour operator for the Irish party and has had the problem of organising travel arrangement at this, the first World Cup to be hosted by two countries.

Ireland's win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday meant Mick McCarthy's squad have to fly to Korea first thing on Wednesday morning, putting Treacy's well-laid plans to the test.

He not only has had the team and officials to cater for, but also a posse of journalists and cameramen.

"When the draw came out, we always knew there was a good chance Ireland would get through their group," said Treacy.

"I went to Seoul last week and booked the team hotel and also an adjoining hotel for the media.

Thousands of Irish fans will follow the team to Korea for Sunday's game against Spain
A young Irish fan celebrates
"After the Germany game I thought it was odds-on we would get through and in second place.

"We had a choice of two or three hotels.

"The one booked for the official party is listed as one of the top 100 hotels in the world.

"All the seats we had booked on the homeward flight, had we been knocked out, have now become free.

"Of course we do not know when we are going home.

"If Ireland lose on 16 June, there is no guarantee we will get seats on the next flight.

"It will work on seat availability so we will just have to wait and see."


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP E
  P GD PTS
GERMANY 3 +10 7
IRELAND 3 +3 5
CAMEROON 3 -1 4
SAUDI ARABIA 3 -12 0




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