Shamrock Rovers Europa League qualifier opponents FC Shkupi claim to have extra motivation tonight after the North Macedonians say they were forced to use Shannon Airport for their charter flight.
Despite the incessant pressure heaped upon the aviation industry for the last year or more, which also saw Rovers also forced use Shannon rather than Dublin airport for their first round trip to Malta, the North Macedonian champions were in no mood to accept such a measure claiming “Our team is being interfered with by making small plays in such an unbecoming manner.”
FC Shkupi have outlined their grievances in a statement ahead of tonight’s third round first leg at Tallaght, vowing to ‘respond as a team’ to the ‘evil’ done to them.
They made a last-gasp plea to the North Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene to allow their return flight take off from Dublin instead of heading back to Co. Clare.
“Despite our budget, we were trying to keep our players comfortable by hiring a charter plane and paying thousands of euros to ensure that our players could make it to the Europa League in good health.
But the Irish government did not listen to UEFA, despite the intervention of UEFA, and landed us 300 km away from Dublin. This gave our team undeserved treatment on this journey.
“Likewise, after the match, he will send it back 300 km and fly it from there.
“Unfortunately, this has not been done to any other team except the North Macedonia team.
“Our loneliness has emerged again as we progressed on the European road. I beg your North Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that we should at least arrange for tonight’s return to Dublin.
“In addition, we would like to say to the Irish that they should know well that we have a very characterful team. The reward of being a team is to respond as a team to the evil done to you in the same way.
“Our team will show you what a character it is, like lions on the field, it will show that there is no team that will not bow down to such cheap games that should have no place in football.
“You landed Ludogorets in Dublin so could you treat us the same if any Italian, Spanish, German or English team showed up?”