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Ireland replace New Zealand for England football friendly

Ireland will play England in a football friendly at Wembley on November 12 replacing New Zealand who pulled out due to worries over Covid-19 the Football Association (FA) said on Wednesday.

England last played Ireland in a 0-0 draw in Dublin in 2015 while their last meeting at Wembley finished 1-1 in 2013.

“England men are to face Republic of Ireland next month after New Zealand withdrew from the originally scheduled fixture at Wembley Stadium,” read the FA statement.

“In keeping with current guidelines, this game is scheduled to be played behind closed doors, although the FA has committed to working with the Government to get supporters back in stadiums as soon as possible,” read the statement.

The friendly will act as a Nations League warm-up for both teams. England face Belgium and Iceland in Group A2 and the Republic take on Wales and Bulgaria in B4.

New Zealand pulled out last week because the were not sure they would be able to “assemble a squad” with “the shifting nature of travel restrictions and commercial flight availability under Covid.”   

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