Northern Ireland could play their home fixtures in England or Scotland from now on unless the government agrees to repair the roof of Windsor Park. Although a Euro 2008 qualifier against Sweden will go ahead as planned, the Irish FA has been told that the necessary safety certificate will not be issued beyond that unless repairs are made to the roof of the North Stand.
The roof was damaged during storms in December and January. Irish FA president, Jim Boyce, said: "We have been told a decision will have to be made after the Sweden match to either replace the roof of the North Stand or just take it off. The estimated cost of a new roof is Â£325,000 and we simply don’t have that sort of money."
Northern Ireland left without a roof over their heads continued
He added "As there is no other stadium in Northern Ireland capable of hosting international football, going to probably Scotland, or maybe England, would be the only avenue open to us." I suppose you could argue that as most of the squad is based in England it would make sense to host Northern Ireland matches here! There were two Aston Villa players in Lawrie Sanchez’s most recent squad – Aaron Hughes and Steven Davis – so that is probably the best bet.
You heard it here first: Villa Park – new home of Northern Ireland!