Slovakia v Republic of Ireland: Euro 2020 play-off to be behind closed doors

James McClean celebrates scoring a penalty in the Republic's friendly against Slovakia in March 2016
The Republic are due to face Slovakia in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Bratislava on 26 March

The Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia on 26 March will be played behind closed doors following a Slovak Government decision.

This follows coronavirus cases in Slovakia which led the government on Monday to announce a 14-day ban on all sporting events in the country.

Fans who have bought tickets for the Bratislava game will be refunded.

The Football Association of Ireland was informed of the development by its Slovak counterpart on Tuesday morning.

"The Republic of Ireland's Uefa Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia on 26 March will be played behind closed doors on the instruction of the Slovak Government," said an FAI statement.

It added that supporters with queries regarding refunds should contact the FAI's customer relations department.

On Monday, the Slovak FA said the match in Bratislava could be played behind closed doors.

Amid concerns over coronavirus, the Slovak FA said it would respect any decision of the country's health officials.

Youth matches in Slovakia have already been suspended indefinitely.

Around 2,200 Republic fans have bought tickets for the game and it was anticipated additional supporters would also travel to Slovakia.

The winners of the Slovakia v Republic game are scheduled to play either Bosnia-Herzegovina or Northern Ireland away five days later when a spot at Euro 2020 will be up for grabs.

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