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Ireland players agree bonus deal

Ireland skipper Robbie Keane and his team-mates have agreed a reduced Euro 2012 qualification bonus deal amid ongoing economic difficulties.

Agreement was reached after a brief meeting on Monday with the players accepting a reduction on the figures paid when Ireland reached the 2002 World Cup finals. Reports have suggested the package could eventually amount to two million euros depending on how they fare in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

An FAI statement said: "The Football Association of Ireland and the players have confirmed that they agreed qualification bonuses after a constructive and brief meeting on Monday."

The statement continued: "During the discussions, the players emphasised the immense honour and pride which they feel in representing the country through this and previous campaigns.

"The players thanked the FAI for their professionalism and preparations which are made around the international squad.

"In recognition of the wider economic climate, the players were happy to agree to a reduction in qualification payments made in 2002.

"On behalf of all strands of the sport, the Football Association of Ireland thanks the players for their readiness to accept a reduction and for their determination to avoid the use of external agents during direct talks which were conducted in an atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding."

Keane was asked about the issue at Tuesday's pre-match press conference, and his reply was brief and to the point.

He said: "There's no problem at all. There will be a statement coming out in the next couple of days.

"The statement will be coming out and everything, I am sure, will be very, very clear. It was a very short meeting, that's all I will say, and very positive."

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