Watch live online as England returns to face Republic of Ireland in an international football friendly in Dublin on Sunday for the first time since February of 1995. Back then, a frightening outbreak of hooligan violence caused a match to be called off after just 27 minutes. This time, players and coaches for both sides have called for peace — and to keep the focus on the game.
“Please God we will be talking about the football. I’m pretty sure we will be. We are looking forward to a really good game. England are coming,” said Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane, himself a member of the Ireland national team in 1995. “They’ve lots of good players. Pretty sure it will be sold out. You ask the Irish lads, they want to turn England over of course. They want to win the game.”
To find out how to watch the Ireland vs. England international friendly streaming live online from Aviva Stadium in Dublin, see the information at the bottom of this story. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:55 p.m. in Dublin — or 7:55 a.m. United States Eastern Daylight Time, 4:55 a.m. Pacific on June 7.
The lunchtime start was scheduled in hopes that fans will not arrive at the game already intoxicated and cause a repeat of the 1995 violence. Ireland’s Football Association has planned stepped-up security around the game — especially because according to reports, only 3,000 of the 5,000 England fans traveling to Dublin for the match have tickets.
England Manager Roy Hodgson was also in attendance at the 1995 debacle in Dublin.
“It was a particularly bad time for English football and for the behavior of our fans,” Hodgson said at a Dublin press conference on Saturday. “I’d like to think that time has moved on considerably and it’s better after the 20 years.”
The trouble in 1995 came primarily from a Neo-Nazi English hooligan “firm” — or gang — calling itself “Combat 18.” The white supremacist thugs viciously jeered the black players on their own England team and pelted them with debris as they warmed up on the pitch prior to the match.
Then, after a controversial refereeing decision went against England about minutes into the match, the hooligans rioted, hurling objects onto the pitch and tearing seats out of the stands.
This time, England’s star striker Wayne Rooney wants all attention to be focused on England ending its 30-year, six-match winless streak against Republic of Ireland.
“That’s the challenge for us and we’re confident we can go and get the win. We want a good performance and we’re ready,” he said Saturday.
Watch the Republic of Ireland vs. England international friendly match streaming live online by going to WatchESPN at this link or using the WatchESPN app to watch on mobile and set-top devices.
[Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images]