UEFA has said that nothing has changed in relation to Dublin's status as a host city for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament, despite media reports suggesting that the Irish capital was in danger of being cut due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The European governing body met with all 12 host cities recently to discuss the tournament and reiterated its commitment to maintaining the original format for the 24-team event.
However, UEFA has stated that there will be a requirement to have fans inside the stadium at all venues and has moved the deadline to submit such plans to early April.
And given the current lockdown status of the country, which runs until 5 April, at least, and ongoing travel restrictions, it remains to be seen whether such assurances can be given regarding the first scheduled match in June.
The first game set for the Aviva Stadium is the meeting of Poland and Slovakia on 14 June with UEFA indicating that they would expect the stadium to have a sizeable crowd in attendance, meaning that 10,000 would probably be the least amount required for Dublin to maintain its status.
Speaking to the Irish media last week, new FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill maintained that he was confident that Ireland would still be hosting this year’s event.
"We are committed to the hosting of our four games and we will have fans in the stadium - it's just a question of how many," said Hill.
"UEFA wants to see fans in all 12 of the stadia and all 12 of the cities and we are planning on the basis that we will have fans in the Aviva Stadium. That is the current situation and that is the plan.
"We had a meeting of the steering group, the CEOs of the federations that cover the 12 cities on Wednesday morning.
"At some point they [UEFA] need to take decisions in relation to the structure of the tournament. It is now a situation whereby all 12 of the cities are working with UEFA and their governments to work out how many fans they can get safely into their individual stadia.
"In reality we're all learning from each other in terms of the approaches that are being taken. We have a four-to-six-week period to do that and in early April UEFA will take its decisions."
RTÉ Sport contacted UEFA regarding the matter and the governing body would only refer to its latest communication on the matter, which dates back to 27 January.
UEFA stated that following the meeting of the host cities, "all parties recognised the need for flexibility around decisions to be made on the arrangements for the tournament, in order to reflect the different challenges and circumstances that cities find themselves in".
And added that "as a result of that and the fast-changing nature of the situation around the pandemic, the deadline for the submission of plans to accommodate fans inside the stadiums has been moved to early April".
Should Irish travel restrictions prevent fans from the nations who have qualified for the Dublin games travel into the country - namely Poland, Slovakia and Sweden - FAI chief Hill believes that UEFA would be open to the option of allowing Irish fans fill the required UEFA crowd quota.
"The atmosphere that is created by two sets of foreign fans is very singular to a Euros or a World Cup finals tournament," said Hill.
"We’d all love to see that, but we have to be respectful of the current guidelines. There is clearly a challenge generally for anyone travelling into Ireland, full stop.
"I think they’d be very, very happy with that [home crowd quota], so they can have Dublin as part of the 12 cities.
"And everything that Dublin brings and Ireland brings in relation to its own very singular and unique character to play in the overall tournament, and they want that from all [of the other] 11 of the cities. So absolutely, I think it would be acceptable."
The FAI further clarified their and the government's position on Thursday, stating: "At the request of UEFA, Dublin's hosting partners – the FAI, Dublin City Council, Aviva Stadium and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – are examining possible scenarios for staging the games scheduled for Dublin in this Covid-19 environment.
"We are in constant dialogue with UEFA and our intention is to work to finalise our best possible scenario consistent with public health guidelines."