Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

14.23 29 Mar 2020


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Windsor Park in Belfast is the latest major sporting venue on the island of Ireland to be offered as a coronavirus testing centre.

The 18,500-seater stadium, which hosts Northern Ireland international matches and is the home ground of NIFL Premiership club Linfield, has been made available by the Irish Football Association.

The IFA have also donated their vehicles which will be used to help deliver medical supplies.

Northern Ireland were due to face Bosnia-Herzegovina in a Euro 2020 play-off last Thursday, but that's now been delayed until at least June due to the pandemic.

The winners of that semi-final will play the winners of the Republic of Ireland's tie with Slovakia which will also be played at a later date.

With the matches postponed, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill took the opportunity to encourage football supporters to heed advice from the government and health authorities.

"Football players, managers and coaches are not immune to the potential effects of this deadly virus," said O'Neill.

"We have family members and friends who are classed as vulnerable. We care for them deeply and don’t want them to come to any harm.

"We can help to keep our loved ones safe by working together in tackling the spread of Covid-19 and following the guidelines issued by the Government and the health authorities.

"It is in everyone’s best interests to do so."

O'Neill added, "Please keep in touch with friends and family by using remote technology such as phone, internet and social media."

Linfield are also out of action with the IFA having postponed all football activity under its jurisdiction until at least April 30.

Windsor Park is the latest of a number of stadiums on the island of Ireland to be used as a testing centre.

Croke Park, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, McHale Park and Tallaght Stadium are some of the others.


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