The positive feeling around sport continued today with news of the largest attendance figures allowed at events announced by the Government.

24,000 will be allowed into Croke Park for the All Ireland Semi-Finals in Men’s football and hurling in the coming weeks. That will increase again with 40,000 permitted for the Finals on the 22nd and 29th August.

25,000 or fifty per cent of the Aviva Stadium capacity will be permitted for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.

“I am delighted to announce increased attendances for the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals as well as two World Cup qualifiers,” said Sports Minister Jack Chambers.

“This is an important signal of how far we have come as a country.”

“From the start of this process, I stated we wanted to be ambitious around getting supporters back in stadia all around the country and the figures for the upcoming games show that is exactly what is happening.”

“I am really pleased we have implemented a very careful return of crowds starting with smaller numbers at first and gradually increasing over the summer months.”

“The pilot events have been a great success and have shown how live sporting and other events can be held in a safe manner.”

The FAI reacted positively to the news of the increased crowd numbers.

“This is great news for our Irish fans, for Stephen Kenny and his players and for the FAI as we all look forward to the return of 25,000 or so fans to the Aviva Stadium in September for the FIFA World Cup games against Azerbaijan and Serbia,” said CEO Jonathan Hill

“This news is so positive for Irish football and follows on from the recent positive experience of our own test events. Just last night I joined Minister Chambers at the Aviva Stadium for the UEFA Europa Conference League win for Bohemians against Dudelange of Luxembourg and the atmosphere was again fantastic.”

“Now we can all really look forward to our supporters getting behind the Senior Men’s team for the first time since the pandemic. Many of our young players have yet to play before a home crowd at the Aviva Stadium so it will give them and Stephen Kenny such a lift to have 25,000 or so passionate Irish fans in the ground. One thing we have learned from the pandemic is that football is nothing without our fans.”

“We are already working on the ticketing strategy for the game that will be fair and equitable for all and will give our team the best possible support on the night. We will share those plans with our supporters at the earliest opportunity.”

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