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IRFU not interested in buying FAI’s stake in Aviva Stadium  

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has moved to deny claims that it is interested in acquiring a stake in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).

The FAI, which is currently experiencing financial troubles, owns 42.5 per cent of the 52,000-seat stadium. According to the Irish Times newspaper, the FAI and the IRFU pay around €200,000 (£170,000/$222,000) a month to cover running costs of the stadium, which is owned by New Stadium DAC, a company controlled by the two associations.

The IRFU has a 57.5-per-cent interest in New Stadium DAC, with the FAI owning the remaining 42.5 per cent.

The Irish Times notes that the FAI has fallen behind on its payments and currently owes €1.2m. The IRFU met with Ireland’s Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport yesterday (Thursday) to discuss the running of the stadium.

In a statement issued to the newspaper, the IRFU said: “To address recent speculation, the IRFU confirms that it does not have an interest in acquiring the FAI’s share in the Aviva Stadium.

“The IRFU’s investment programme is centred firmly on the development of rugby at all levels and all available funds are fully committed to that programme.”

The FAI’s troubles have led to the association requesting an €18m bailout from the Irish government, which has been rejected. Public-service broadcaster RTÉ reported that the FAI still has debt totalling €29m on the stadium.

Aviva Stadium opened in 2010 and hosts matches played by Ireland’s national football and rugby union teams.

Image: wynnert (Flickr)