NORTHERN Ireland will play their next European championship qualifier at a local park with jackets for goalposts, it has emerged.
With Windsor Park crumbling around everyone’s ears, the Northern Irish FA has taken the decision to switch the crunch tie against Romania in June to an east Belfast park.
A spokesman for the football association said: “I think this move will be great for fans and players alike – fans because there’ll be no entrance fee and players because they’ll be getting back to their grassroots, literally.
“And keeping to this spirit, we’ve decided both teams will be allowed to field as many players as they like with the game continuing until one side scores 100 goals. If that tally is not reached we’ll keep going until it gets too dark to see, or until Mad Malky’s Staffordshire bull terrier Spike runs off with the ball.”
The spokesman explained a groundsman will be appointed on the day to find a suitable spot for the goals, ideally away from copious amounts of dog shit. He will then pace out a penalty spot, which he will mark by digging his heel into the ground, although there will be no actual penalty box.
He added: “In time honoured tradition it will be the hardest player on the pitch who is the ultimate arbiter on contentious decisions. We won’t be playing corners or offsides, so that should make it easier, and throw-ins will only happen in vague circumstances when the ball ends up in a housing estate.
“And we’ve decided not to bother with strips. Most of our guys will want to wear their Rangers tops with trackies and trainers, although some knob always turns up in jeans and Timberlands.”
The Romanian football association said they were “much delighted” with the plans.