The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has announced that they have signed a partnership agreement with UK-based betting and gambling company, Ladbrokes, making them their official betting partner.

The Football Association of Ireland is the governing body for football in the Republic of Ireland. The FAI organises competitions, including junior teams and international teams such as the Olympic team.

John Delaney, chief executive of the FAI announced the new deal on Wednesday just a few hours before the friendly international match with Oman at the Aviva Stadium that saw the country bid farewell to Robbie Keane, one of the greatest goalscorers ever produced by Ireland. Following the match, Republic of Ireland’s manager, Martin O’Neill and the rest of the team will be looking to the future, starting with a match against Serbia in Belgrade on Monday in the first of their 2018 World Cup Qualifier matches.

This two-year deal signed between the FAI and Ladbrokes further strengthens their focus on the future of the sport in Ireland. The deal will help to ensure that the strong position that football is in in the country at the moment will continue at least for the next two years.

“I am delighted to welcome Ladbrokes as a key commercial partner of the Football Association of Ireland,” said Delaney when he announced the partnership deal.

“The strength of the game in Ireland is reflected in the range of high quality brands which have invested in football and who see football as their preferred sport.”

Ladbrokes is one of the major bookmakers in the UK; however they have been operating in Ireland for the past 30 years and they employ 650 staff. This deal is further expanding Ladbroke’s reach within the Irish gaming market.