Lilywhites learn European fate
Dundalk FC will face Riga FC in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, with the second qualifying round draw throwing up stiff competition for both sides.
If the Lilywhites overcome their Latvian opponents in their Champions League opener, they will face either FK Partizani of Albania or Qarabag of Azerbaijan in the second qualifying round, whilst a Europa League trip to BATE Borisov of Belarus or Polish champions Piast Gliwice awaits the losing side.
The UEFA Champions League and Europa League draws were made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Dundalk’s first match back in Champions League qualifying will be at home to Riga in Oriel Park on Wednesday 10 July. Kick-off will be at 19:45.
The return leg is confirmed for Skonto Stadium in Riga on the following Wednesday (17 July), with kick-off time to be confirmed. We advise any supporters travelling to Riga on the day of the game to await confirmation before making travel arrangements.
The winners of the first round tie will face either Albanian champions FK Partizani – from the captial city Tirana – or Azerbaijani champions Qarabag – originally from Agdam but now based in the capital Baku – in the second round.
The ties will take place on 23-24 July and 30-31 July, with Dundalk drawn at home for the first leg.
This season, for the first time since Dundalk have been involved in Champions League qualifying, all sides who lose their qualifying ties drop into the following round of Europa League qualiyfing.
However, this safety net doesn’t mean things get any easier, as the loser of Dundalk’s clash with Riga will face the loser of the tie between Belarusian champions BATE Borisov – well known to the Lilywhites from previous Champions League campaigns – and Polish champions Piast Gliwice in the Europa League second qualifying round.
Fixtures are scheduled to take place on Thursdays 25 July and 1 August. Dundalk or Riga will be away from home in the first leg.
Fixture details for either competition will be confirmed nearer the time, once Dundalk’s opponents are known. As ever, keep your eye on dundalkfc.com and our official social media channels for details.