Super Cup will be a 'great advert for Northern Ireland’

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson says tonight’s UEFA Super Cup Final between Chelsea and Villarreal will be a “great advert” for Northern Ireland.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 10:11 am

The Champions League and Europa League winners face off at the National Stadium in Belfast in the showpiece season opener, which will be beamed to a worldwide audience.

Thirteen thousand fans will also be watching on from inside Windsor Park and Nelson feels this will be a fantastic opportunity for the country.

“This is the season kick-off as far as UEFA are concerned. It doesn’t get any bigger for us,” he told BBC Sport.

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The UEFA Super Cup final will take place at the National Stadium tonight

“This is going to be a great advert for our country.

“UEFA have taken this to another level.

“They’ve upped our game. They’ve taught us things - hopefully we’ve taught them a few things as well - and it really is going to be a fabulous event because UEFA’s standards are so high.

“What people will see is a place that has been branded superbly both with UEFA branding and Chelsea and Villarreal branding. UEFA have looked at every single space and put their mark on it.

“We’ll learn a lot from Wednesday evening. We’ve got senior men’s internationals and senior women’s internationals coming up. NIFL are kicking their Premiership in the very near future.

“All of us will learn from this and all of us hopefully bring safe and sensible crowds back pretty soon.”

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is looking forward to tonight’s clash in Belfast but he refused to comment on Romelu Lukaku’s proposed move to the Blues.

“What nicer thing than to start the season with a European final,” he said.

“I’m absolutely not in a position to announce anything and I will maybe refuse to talk about it because we are in a press conference before a European final and it’s clearly not the moment for personal discussions of our squad.

“We need to wait and see what’s possible, what’s not possible.”