The Minister for Communications has said that it is the Government's information that SKY television has not done a deal to secure the rights to Irish away games.

Dermot Ahern was commenting on newspaper speculation that SKY has offered €17 million for exclusive television rights to the Republic of Ireland soccer team's away matches involving Ireland, England and Scotland.

However SKY Television has refused to comment on whether or not it has done a deal.

Meanwhile RTE has said it is determined to try to secure the rights and keep Ireland's away matches on terrestrial television. It said it had entered a joint bid with the BBC.

However, a spokesman said that the organisation had a limited budget and that if the bid went beyond that budget then RTÉ would not be in a position to compete.

The FAI has said it is not involved in the negotiations, and it is up to the equivalent body in the host country to decide who should screen the games.