A LONG-AWAITED friendly between the Republic of Ireland and England is set to finally take place in the summer of 2013.
The match — the first between the neighbours since a Dublin friendly was infamously abandoned in 1995 — is set to happen in Wembley next May as part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations, the Daily Mail reports.
A spokesperson for the FAI told TheScore.ie that the reports are correct “in principle” and an announcement with the FA is expected to be made within 48 hours.
Negotiations between the two associations have been ongoing with FAI bosses keen to cash on the FA’s long-standing promise to return to Dublin for a money-spinning game.
In February 1995, crowd trouble caused by rioting English hooligans forced a friendly in Lansdowne Road to be abandoned after just 27 minutes. The Republic of Ireland, then managed by Northumberland-born Jack Charlton, led 1-0 at the time through David Kelly.
A friendly prior to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine was discussed earlier this year but the idea was shelved when the draw for the finals raised the possibility of the countries meeting at the quarter-final stage.
At the time FAI chief executive John Delaney said that the FA are “very keen to come sooner rather than later” to the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland play Oman in a friendly in London’s Craven Cottage this evening.