Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland squad arrive in France

By Adrian Rutherford

Northern Ireland’s footballers have arrived in France ahead of Euro 2016.

A chartered flight carrying the squad touched down at Lyon Saint Exupery Airport shortly after 4.20pm on Sunday afternoon.

The group is travelling on to their training base around 40 minutes north of Lyon.

The flight took off just before 3pm from Bratislava Airport in Slovakia, having been delayed almost an hour because of a local thunderstorm.

On Saturday night Northern Ireland drew 0-0 against Slovakia in their final warm-up game.

Read more:

Northern Ireland head to Euro 2016 unbeaten in 12 after Slovakia draw

It means they have the longest unbeaten run of the 24 sides who are competing at Euro 2016.

Striker Kyle Lafferty said the team’s arrival in France will be the moment when their qualification finally becomes real.

“A few people have been saying that it still hasn’t hit home yet - I think it will hit home when we arrive in France,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“Everyone is going to be there - the fans, the press, Uefa. Everyone will be focused on the Euros and it’s going to be very exciting.”

Northern Ireland open their Euro 2016 campaign against Poland in Nice next Sunday.

They face the Ukraine in Lyon on June 16.

They conclude their group stage fixtures against Germany in Paris on June 21.

Belfast Telegraph Digital