The fixture list for next years Nations Cup, set to be held in the Aviva Stadium has been released today. The opening game of the tournament sees Giovanni Trapattoni’s side face up against Wales on the 8th of February with Northern Ireland facing Scotland just a day later. The proceeding games will then be played out over a four day period in late May.
It is the first senior international football tournament to be held in Dublin and is the inaugural event of the biennial competition set to be played out between the neighboring countries. Lager company Carling have improved their close ties with the game in all participating countries by agreeing to sponsor the tournament.
Irish manager Trapattoni was quick to talk up the importance of the competition, saying “The Carling Nations Cup is a tournament that we would very much like to win, particularly playing at home in Dublin. The matches will provide us with a good opportunity to see our players in games with a real competitive edge at an important time in our bid to qualify for 2012”.
Trapattoni’s Northern Irish counterpart Nigel Worthington also spoke of his anticipation – “I am really looking forward to the Carling Nations Cup, as competitive games against our neighbouring countries don’t come around too often. There are bragging rights at stake here, not only for the fans but also for the players as no one will want to lose against their closest rivals”.
The tournament is structured as a round robin league format with a single game played between each team.
Full match schedule
8 Feb: Republic of Ireland v Wales
9 Feb: Northern Ireland v Scotland
23 May: Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland
24 May: Wales v Scotland
26 May: Wales v Northern Ireland
27 May: Republic of Ireland v Scotland