The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team is set to make history by playing its first-ever game in the Aviva Stadium. Kicking off at 1pm on Saturday, September 23, the match will see Vera Pauw’s team take on Northern Ireland for the opening fixture of the 2023-24 UEFA Women’s Nations League.
The decision comes following talks between the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Irish Football Association (IFA) and UEFA.
“We are extremely proud to be able to announce the first-ever Ireland Women’s National Team game at our national stadium, the Aviva Stadium, with what will be the first game for the team after their return from the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said.
“Football for women and girls has clearly moved a significant way forward in the last three years, much of it driven by the inspirational performance by Vera Pauw and the team but also on the back of our equal pay agreement in 2021 and the hard work of thousands of coaches and volunteers the length and breadth of the country who are inspiring women’s football to new highs.
“We are all very excited that another glass ceiling has been removed,” Hill added.
Ireland WNT to play first ever game in Aviva Stadium 🙌
UEFA Nations League opener against Northern Ireland will be on Saturday, September 23 – KO 13:00
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) May 22, 2023
Speaking about the historic occasion, manager Vera Pauw commented: “It is fantastic to know that our players will get to play in such an iconic stadium – one of the best in the world! Playing in the national stadium is another big jump forward for our team and we encourage our supporters to come out to get behind the team.
“We have had outstanding support in recent years in Tallaght Stadium – who we remain extremely grateful to – but we always said that if the right opportunity to play in the Aviva Stadium came along then we would look at it.
“This is that right opportunity and we want to have a record attendance to cheer the team on in their first game after the World Cup,” she continued.
“On behalf of the players and staff, I’d like to thank everyone at the FAI who has made this happen. Playing this game in the Aviva Stadium can be a game-changer for women and girls’ football in Ireland,” Pauw concluded.
This is the latest exciting achievement of the Ireland WNT, which continues to rise from strength to strength, led by a squad full of LGBTQ+ athletes. For those who don’t want to wait until September to see the team play, there are friendly games happening in Tallaght Stadium in the coming months – against Zambia on June 22 and against France on July 6, before the side heads off to Australia for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.