Football

IFA set be weakest link

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The Irish Football Association are keen to hold further talks with their Scottish counterparts over the possibility of a joint bid for the 2016 European Championships - but they are set to lose out to the Welsh.

All three national associations confirmed on Wednesday informal discussions over attempting to stage the finals in eight years' time had taken place.

More talks are set to be held in February but PA Sport understands the Scottish Football Association favour a joint bid with Wales as Northern Ireland does not possess the stadia required.

IFA president Raymond Kennedy admits a radical overhaul of facilities is needed in the country.

Plans for a new national stadium to replace Windsor Park have long been in the pipeline but no decision has yet been taken about the best way forward.

Kennedy said: "I would be delighted if we were part of any bid for a championship that would give us some games.

"But, frankly, I do not think we are in that position at the moment because we do not have any stadiums that are suitable.

"Hopefully things might change in that respect and we will have a new national stadium in about two years' time."

He added: "We are due to meet the Scots in other business in the new year and would be prepared to have more formal talks then about a possible bid for the championship.

"At the moment, we have held only tentative discussions about the situation. It is certainly an interesting idea."

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