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By ESPN Staff

Irish start qualifying against Kazakhstan

The Republic of Ireland will begin and end their qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil against Kazakhstan.

• UEFA qualifying groups for World Cup 2014

Following a meeting at the headquarters of their German counterparts in Frankfurt, the Football Association of Ireland announced that agreement has been reached over their fixture schedule.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who this week guided his side to the Euro 2012 finals after a play-off victory over Estonia, said: "This is a good fixture schedule for our team with a good balance to the matches.

"We finish the campaign at home and start with a single away match against Kazakhstan, which was important given the long distances involved.

"I am also happy with the balance obtained in the double-headers and the timing of what we would expect to be some of the key matches in the group.''

Ireland will open their Group C campaign in Kazakhstan on September 7 next year, and then welcome favourites Germany to the Aviva Stadium in the first game of a double-header which includes a trip to meet the Faroe Islands the following month.

They will face Sweden away and Austria at home in March 2013, and the Faroes will head for Dublin on June 7.

Ireland will host the Swedes on September 6 before travelling to Austria four days later, but will end the campaign with a trip to Germany and the return fixture with the Kazakhs at the Aviva in October.

2014 World Cup qualifying fixtures

• September 7, 2012: Kazakhstan v Republic of Ireland.

• October 12, 2012: Republic of Ireland v Germany.

• October 16, 2012: Faroe Islands v Republic of Ireland.

• March 22, 2013: Sweden v Republic of Ireland.

• March 26, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Austria.

• June 7, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Faroe Islands.

• September 6, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Sweden.

• September 10, 2013: Austria v Republic of Ireland.

• October 11, 2013: Germany v Republic of Ireland.

• October 15, 2013: Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan.

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