| 16.8°C Belfast

Aviva in frame as Niall Quinn hints at neutral solution for League of Ireland

 

Niall Quinn

The FAI have discussed the option of using the Aviva Stadium to play League of Ireland games if it would help the season to get back under way.

Interim deputy CEO Niall Quinn said that the use of a "neutral venue" is an angle that is being considered as a "return to play" option although the lack of clarity around finances and the pushback of the GAA calendar has placed further doubt over football's plans to resume in the Republic by July 20.

However, Quinn has asserted that the fact that players are paid in his sport means that the FAI have to try to look at "acceptable solutions" to salvage the 2020 campaign. The former Republic of Ireland striker did not mention the Aviva by name but it is understood that the stadium has been brought up in discussions across the last 24 hours.

While the cost of opening the ground is significant, it is often calculated in terms of the security personnel required to host spectators which wouldn't be as big a factor in this instance and that's why it has not been definitively ruled out.

The advantage of operating the Aviva would be the modern facilities which would allay concerns about the safety of other grounds in terms of hygiene and space for players and officials in light of Covid-19 requirements. It would also be a more attractive backdrop for streaming purposes.

Meanwhile, the German Bundesliga looks set to be the first of Europe's 'Big Five' leagues to resume after the federal government gave the go-ahead.

Clubs in the top two tiers have been back in training since last month with a view to restarting the 2019-20 season this month.

Belfast Telegraph