Shamrock Rovers face Spurs in Europa League group stages
FAI chief John Delaney hails "breakthrough moment" for Irish football after Rovers seal Europa League spot
Shamrock Rovers were rewarded for becoming the first Irish club to reach the group stages of a European competition with a trip to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.
Rovers, the lowest ranked team in the draw, will also face a long trip to Russian club Rubin Kazan and Greek outfit PAOK in Group A.
The Hoops secured their place in Friday afternoon’s draw courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate victory over Serbian side Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.
“I would like to pay tribute to Shamrock Rovers on this historic night for Irish football,” said John Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland.
“I am so pleased to send my congratulations to the players, managerial staff, supporters and directors of the club on a breakthrough moment for the professional game in Ireland.
“It was particularly pleasing to see the loyal supporters who had made the trip to Belgrade rewarded by being a part of history.”
Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche believes the victory shows the developing quality of Irish football.
“It’s enormous,” said Roche. “It’s a new universe for us. For us, and for Irish football.
“Hopefully, now everyone will take Irish football ““ not just us ““ seriously. It’s a serious league with serious players.”