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Irish FA get government's green light to finish the Irish Cup

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Caral Ni Chuilin (Niall Carson/PA)

Caral Ni Chuilin (Niall Carson/PA)

PA

Caral Ni Chuilin (Niall Carson/PA)

This season’s remaining Irish Cup matches have been given the official stamp of approval by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Further relaxations to coronavirus regulations announced yesterday mean the two semi-finals and final can go ahead at Windsor Park later this month.

The Stormont Executive confirmed: “Outdoor competitive games and sporting events can also start again from July 11. This covers both grass roots and professional competitive games and events. No spectators will be allowed.”

The Cup semi-finals — Ballymena United v Coleraine (4pm) and Cliftonville v Glentoran (8pm) — will take place on Monday, July 27 ahead of the decider on Friday, July 31, with all games televised live by the BBC.

While no supporters will be allowed to attend the last-four encounters, the Irish FA have indicated they will ask the Executive if some fans can be permitted at the final.

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “I would hope that further relaxations and news on return for spectators to sporting events will be announced in due course.”

Ministers also agreed that outdoor horse racing and equestrian competitions can resume from tomorrow, with only those needed for the event being able to attend.

The date allowing for the re-opening of indoor sport and leisure facilities, including skating rinks and leisure centres, has been brought forward to July 17.

This does not include swimming pools at this stage.

Belfast Telegraph