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IFA to petition government to allow fans into Windsor Park for Norway clash in October

 

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The National Stadium at Windsor Park (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The National Stadium at Windsor Park (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The National Stadium at Windsor Park (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The Irish FA are hoping 6,000 Northern Ireland fans will be allowed into Windsor Park for the Nations League game against Norway in September.

Sunday Life Sport understands the Association will petition the Northern Ireland Executive for the green light to have a 30% capacity for the first home game of the autumn internationals.

The IFA are also pushing for some spectators to be allowed to attend the Irish Cup Final on Friday, July 31 but, at present, the Semi-Finals on Monday, July 27 will be played behind closed doors.

An IFA spokesperson said: "We are liaising closely with government and will work to ensure all health guidelines are adhered to when planning any games at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park."

A source added: "The Irish FA want fans for every game, and as many as possible.

"We will work with our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Executive in an attempt to make that happen.

"We will work within safety guidelines because the health of players, staff and supporters is paramount."

The move comes in a week when the head of UEFA's medical commission, Professor Tim Meyer, warned there could be no spectators at any international games this year.

"There has been no verdict on spectator participation in the matches yet," said the German official on Tuesday.

"However, it looks like there will be no competitions under UEFA's patronage with people in the stands this year. It would be too much of a risk."

At present, new Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough has three home Nations League games to look forward to - Norway in September, Austria in October and Romania in November.

There is also the possibility of a winner-takes-all Euro 2020 Play-Off Final against either Slovakia or the Republic of Ireland in Belfast, should Northern Ireland overcome Bosnia in Zenica on October 8.

The Irish FA have already taken steps in the event that supporters are not allowed into Windsor Park for the home internationals, which would represent a significant financial loss.

IFA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson recently told Northern Ireland Football League officials that £1.6m of the £3.8m provided by UEFA to ease Covid-19 problems will be used to cover any shortfall in the autumn internationals.

Belfast Telegraph