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Fifa has issued a statement which strongly hints that the roof will remain closed at the Solna venue for Ireland's World Cup qualifier on Friday, March 22

The roof on the Friends Arena is likely to be closed for the forthcoming World Cup qualifier between Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

Earlier this week, Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni expressed reservations about closing the roof on the 51,000-seater stadium, suggesting that it would be 'too loud' for the players and dismissed the notion that the weather would affect the game.

The final decision is set to be made by a Fifa delegate ahead of the encounter on Friday, March 22 and the world governing body recently issued a statement which suggests that the roof will be closed to 'ensure the best-playing football conditions'.

The statement, which appeared in the Irish Times read: "Fifa is currently assessing the weather situation with the host association and, as you will acknowledge, common sense should prevail at all times in order to ensure the best-playing football conditions to both teams as well as ensure safety and security to the public and local organising committee on duty.

"At the moment, the roof is closed and the weather conditions are proven to be very adverse, with ice and snow falls and extreme temperatures. The weather forecast up to the match seems not to show any kind of drastic improvement in this respect.

"Opening the roof would be too dangerous (it's currently covered with ice and snow) and certainly difficult to understand if we want to preserve the pitch fit and playing conditions that are normal. At the time of writing, we do not see how (and why) we could imagine opening the roof, but the final decision will be taken upon arrival of our match commissioner on site. You may check with us again on Thursday or Friday."

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