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Newly renovated Bratislava stadium to host Slovakia’s Euro 2020 play-off against Ireland

Bratislava, Slovakia – The Slovak Football Association has confirmed that Slovakia’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against the Republic of Ireland will be held in Bratislava, and not in Trnava, as previously thought.

The national team had until now been playing all of their Euro 2020 qualifiers in Trnava, while the national stadium in Bratislava was being renovated.

The decicive game against Ireland will take place on March 26th in Bratislava’s Tehelné pole stadim, which has a capacity of around 20,000. The newly renovated stadium did host a friendly game against Paraguay back in March but has yet to host a game at total capacity.

Ireland are entitled to 5% of the tickets for the game, which amounts to around 1,000 tickets, but the Football association of Ireland are said to be hoping to secure more for visiting fans. Back in October, more than 2,000 Welsh supporters attended Wales’ qualifier against Slovakia in Trnava.

The winner of the one-legged tie will then either face Bosnia and Herzegovina or Northern Ireland for a place in next summer’s Euro 2020, in a deciding play-off final which will take place on March 31st.

Like Slovakia, Hungary also failed to qualify automatically for next year’s tournament and will have to go through play-offs in March to book their ticket to the Euro 2020. Despite being one of the twelve host countries, they are not guaranteed to play in next summer’s Euro 2020. Hungary will indeed have to face Bulgaria in Sofia on March 26th before hosting either Iceland or Romania for a spot in the finals.

slovakia-euro-2020-ireland
Slovakia failed to qualify automatically for next year’s tournament, losing twice to World Cup finalists Croatia in the qualifiers. Credit: Challenges

Should they qualify, Hungary will however end up in Group F, dubbed the group of death alongside World Champions France, European Champions Portugal as well as Germany.

Poland and the Czech Republic both qualified automatically and will respectively face Spain and Sweden in Group E, and England and Croatia in Group D. On June 15th, Poland could kick off its campain in Dublin against Slovakia, should they go through the play-offs. The Czech Republic will start off its competition in Glasgow against the play-off winner of Path C, meaning either Norway, Serbia, Scotland or Israel.

Slovakia and Hungary will both have high hopes of joining Poland and the Czech Republic after the four Central European teams all managed to qualify for the first time ever for the previous edition held in France.

The Euro 2020 is scheduled to be held in 12 cities in 12 European countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020; namely London, Rome, Munich, Baku, Dublin, Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Bilbao… and Budapest! The Hungarian capital’s new 68,000-seat Puskás Aréna, which was inaugurated earlier this year, will host three group games and one round of 16 game.

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