Cyprus v Northern Ireland friendly set to go ahead

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland's friendly against Cyprus is expected to go ahead on Wednesday despite the bombing of a referee's car on the island.

All first division matches in Cyprus this weekend have been cancelled but Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson is confident the international in Nicosia will take place as scheduled.

"The latest information is the incident doesn't put the game in jeopardy.

"However, we're being sensible, we're monitoring developments," said Nelson.

Nelson, in Zurich for the International FA Board meeting, said: "The information we have is that the incident would have nothing to do with international football.

"We're going to be in touch with the Cypriot FA again, we're waiting for the FCO - the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - to comment on it and we're keeping our eyes on it."

The car of a top Cypriot official - named by the Cyprus Football Association as Leontios Trattos - was damaged by a bomb explosion on Friday morning, but no one was injured.

A friendly between Ukraine and the United States is also scheduled for Larnaca on Wednesday due to political unrest in the eastern European country.

England's women are also due to play Italy in the Cyprus Cup in Nicosia on the same day.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has named a 22-man squad for the match on Wednesday, with the likes of Southampton's Steven Davis and West Brom duo Gareth McAuley and Chris Brunt included.

The countries have not met since the 0-0 friendly draw at Windsor Park in August 2002.

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