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Linfield won't be forced to play home league games away from Windsor Park during pitch work

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Work is to be completed at Windsor Park before the UEFA Super Cup, due to be played on August 11.

Work is to be completed at Windsor Park before the UEFA Super Cup, due to be played on August 11.

Work is to be completed at Windsor Park before the UEFA Super Cup, due to be played on August 11.

The Irish FA have moved to quell fears that Linfield may not be allowed to finish their League campaign at Windsor Park.

The issue flared up this week over the proposed work to be done on the pitch and surrounding areas of the National Stadium ahead of the UEFA Super Cup, which will be hosted in Belfast on August 11.

UEFA will pay to make the pitch pristine for the Super Cup, but the matter that caused concern was the timing of the work to be done.

The Irish FA were hoping to start work at Windsor on or around May 5, setting off alarm bells in the Linfield camp.

Fears remain that, because of Covid-19 and adverse weather conditions, the League may have to be extended well into May to complete the programme.

Sunday Life Sport understands Linfield chiefs sent a letter to the IFA enquiring about their plans and asking for clarification, but are confident their defence of the title will not have to be completed away from the famous south Belfast stadium.

"There is a contract in place that guarantees Linfield can play all their home games at Windsor Park," said a Windsor source.

"So no work can begin on the pitch itself until after the last game of the season.

"There may be work that can be started around the pitch, but there is no possibility of Linfield home games being played away from the National Stadium. It cannot happen."

The Irish FA confirmed this position when asked this week by Sunday Life, with a spokesperson stating: "Our aim is to begin the pitch renovation after Linfield's final home League fixture of the current season.

"The date has yet to be confirmed but we will work in collaboration with the club throughout this process."

The Irish Cup may be an issue if numerous games are at home for the Blues, but Linfield believe their last home League game will take place after a potential Irish Cup Quarter-Final.

If work starts on time, the Irish FA are happy for Linfield to use Windsor Park for their European matches, as it will allow the new surface to 'bed in' for UEFA's prestigious Super Cup.

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