ST. LOUIS–The Bret Bielema era of University of Illinois football will not began on foreign soil after all.
The school announced Wednesday that the Illini game against Nebraska, which had been scheduled to be played in Dublin, Ireland August 28, would instead be contested at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It is desperately disappointing that it is necessary to cancel the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic but public health must take precedent,” said Neil Naughton, Chairman of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in a statement released by Illinois. “These games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between Ireland and the United States. We have made great friends with both the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska and I look forward to welcoming them back to Ireland in the not-too-distant future and giving their travelling fans the welcome Ireland is so famous for.”