Increased attendances have been confirmed for the All-Ireland finals and semi-finals in Croke Park, and two World Cup qualifiers in the Aviva.

RTÉ Sport has been informed that a crowd of 40,000 can attend the football and hurling All-Ireland finals in Croke Park at the end of August.

The hurling final will take place on 22 August and the football final is scheduled for Sunday 29 August.

Meanwhile, crowds of 24,000 have been confirmed for the four semi-finals also in Croke Park beginning next weekend.

Approximately 25,000 can attend the two World Cup qualifiers for the Aviva Stadium for games against Azerbaijan (4 September) and Serbia (7 September).

These developments follow engagements between the Government and the various sporting organisations about increasing capacity at selected events.

"I am delighted to announce increased attendances for the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals as well as two World Cup qualifiers," said Sports Minister Jack Chambers.

"This is an important signal of how far we have come as a country.

"From the start of this process I stated we wanted to be ambitious around getting supporters back in stadia all around the country and the figures for the upcoming games show that is exactly what is happening.

"I am really pleased we have implemented a very careful return of crowds starting with smaller numbers at first and gradually increasing over the summer months.

"The pilot events have been a great success and have shown how live sporting and other events can be held in a safe manner."

In a statement, the FAI said it was delighted that spectators would be welcomed back to Republic of Ireland games in September. A ticketing strategy that is "fair and equitable" is currently in development.

CEO Jonathan Hill said: "This news is so positive for Irish football and follows on from the recent positive experience of our own test events. Just last night I joined Minister Chambers at the Aviva Stadium for the UEFA Europa Conference League win for Bohemians against Dudelange of Luxembourg and the atmosphere was again fantastic.

"Now we can all really look forward to our supporters getting behind the Senior Men's team for the first time since the pandemic. Many of our young players have yet to play before a home crowd at the Aviva Stadium so it will give them and Stephen Kenny such a lift to have 25,000 or so passionate Irish fans in the ground.

"We are already working on the ticketing strategy for the game that will be fair and equitable for all and will give our team the best possible support on the night. We will share those plans with our supporters at the earliest opportunity."

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