FAI Talks Suggest August LOI Return

An august return is on the cards for the League of Ireland with the FAI offering an increased financial package to the clubs to help restart the league.

(Image: IrishMirror.ie)

One of the big issues was that clubs didn’t want a return behind closed doors, due to loss of revenue from fans. The FAI had but together a package worth €1.7 million, but this was rejected.

The talks have continued throughout the week, and reports are that the FAI have increased the figure to €3.3 million, with a larger proportion being paid upfront. Further takeaways are that neutral venues may not be necessary, allowing money to go directly to the clubs. There is also the proposal to have a streaming service that will charge per game.

It is still unclear whether relegation will be scrapped for the season, with some clubs hoping it will be. It has been proposed that the season be shortened to 18 games rather than the original 36, with teams having already played 4 or 5 games each.

Another talking point is whether the FAI Cup will be cancelled. There is the possibility the cup could go ahead with just League of Ireland sides and no non-League teams.

So far Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians, and Derry City have all had their personnel tested ahead of the 4 team pilot tournament and European football. All 4 teams have been granted licences to play in Europe.

It has been confirmed that the Champions League and Europa League will see single legged qualifying rounds up until the play-off round. A draw will take place for home advantage. The group stages of both competitions will now begin in October.

Peamount United have been granted a licence to play in the Women’s National League. They will take place in a qualifying tournament between October 7th and 13th.

The Women’s National League is set to finally start in late August, having been postponed just days before it was due to begin.

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Napoli Lift the Coppa Italia

Napoli won the 2020 Coppa Italia by beating Juventus 4 – 2 on penalties after the game finished 0 – 0.

There was no extratime in the game, so it was straight to penalties, with stand in keeper Meret the hero. Napoli’s usual number 1 was suspended, but Meret, making his first appearance in the cup this season, made a save early in the shootout to ensure the victory.

Napoli the better team in the second half, creating more chances. Juventus dominated possession in the first half but offered very little going forward in the second. The first half was an enthralling affair, with the second half becoming more stop start.

Napoli came closest to a winner, in injury time Maksimovic had his header saved, with Elmas not catching the rebound as it hit Buffon and then the post. The game went to penalties.

Dybala had his attempt saved by Meret, before Insigne did a stuttered run and fired into the corner to make it 0 – 1. Danilo blasted over, and Politano doubled Napoli’s advantage despite Buffon getting a hand to the ball. Bonucci got Juve on the board with a powerful penalty that went in off the crossbar. Maksimovic hit one into the roof of the net to restore Napoli’s two goal advantage.

Ramsey stepped up knowing he had to score to keep Juve in the game, he did so confidently to make it 2 – 3. Polish international Milik got the winning penalty as Napoli were crowned Cup winners.

This was Napoli’s 6th Coppa Italia win, and their first major honor since 2014.

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