Belfast Telegraph

England lined up for showdown with Republic at Dublin's Aviva Stadium

England could be set for a return to Dublin for the first time since their rioting supporters caused the abandonment of a friendly in Lansdowne Road 15 years ago.

The FAI have contacted the English FA with a view to filling the vacant November 17 international date when neither team are involved in 2012 European Championship qualifiers.

The approach from the FAI to the English FA comes four months after informal contact was made between the sides' respective Italian managers, Giovanni Trapattoni and Fabio Capello.

“I spoke with Capello about it,” said Trapattoni. “I looked for him and told him we wished for a game. But England have many other agreements. I talked with him maybe two or three times and I think they are afraid! “Well, maybe not, but I was with him and I said 'when will we play this game?' but he said he already had many other games.”

England were committed to World Cup warm-up matches since that conversation took place and, even if Capello fails to survive the managerial axe after their World Cup exit, the English FA are open to the FAI's offer.

Despite concerns about hooliganism within the Aviva Stadium and surrounding areas following events of 15 years ago, the evidence of South Africa indicates that police successfully grounded all major hooligan elements.

However, it remains to be seen whether security could be enforced with similar rigidity within the context of an isolated, one-off encounter. FAI chief executive John Delaney, when asked about security issues similar to those of the Lansdowne riots, stressed at the Aviva Stadium's opening that they were confident about security arrangements.

Belfast Telegraph

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