The Football Association of Ireland and the Qatar Football Association have agreed in conjunction with UEFA to reverse the order of their friendly games assigned to Group A of the European qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup.
Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland side will now play the ‘away leg’ against Qatar in the Hungarian city of Debrecen — Qatar’s home base for the upcoming international window — on Tuesday, March 30th.
The game will have an 8.45pm local time kick-off. Ireland’s home match against Qatar will now take place at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, October 12th.
The March fixture against Qatar at the Nagyerdei Stadion follows Ireland’s opening Group A qualifier away to Serbia on Wednesday, March 24th, and the home game against Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, March 27th.
The Qatar FA had originally planned to base their training camp in Austria and to play Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in Vienna ahead of their trip to Dublin.
Luxembourg’s visit to Vienna would have curtailed both Luxembourg and Qatar coming to Dublin as Austria is on the Irish Government’s list of Category 2 countries which require strict quarantine rules for anybody visiting Ireland having spent time in Austria.
Qatar will now host Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in Hungary before the Ireland game.
An FAI spokesperson said: “With the ever-changing situation in relation to travel restrictions around Covid-19 and Qatar’s agreement to move their matches out of Vienna, we have now ensured that the first home World Cup qualifier will take place in Dublin against Luxembourg.
“It has also been agreed by all concerned to reverse the Qatar fixtures and play Qatar in Debrecen this month and welcome them to Dublin in October when it is possible that we will have Ireland fans at the game as the battle against Covid-19 continues.”