Cascarino: unity on the field of play?

But if it’s football you’re talking about then Tony Cascarino agrees with George Best that Irish unity on the soccer pitch is the only sensible way forward.

  • beano

    *yawn*

    It’s bad enough when dinosaurs like best, who have done nothing for football in this country for 25 years, are going on about it. What possible motivation could cascarino have other than bandwagon jumping?

  • IJP

    Is this the same Tony Cascarino who isn’t actually Irish? At all? Not even by great-granny’s cat?

    He should be arguing for an all-British-Isles team, he would even have qualified for that…!

  • PS

    I knew somebody would bring that up! Fair enough as it turned out, unbeknownst to Tony he shouldn’t have been allowed play for Ireland, but what I will say is that when he pulled on the Irish jersey I’d say he was as committed to cause as any other.

  • Keith M

    This would be the same Tony Cascarino who cheated his way onto the Irish team and thereby cheated a genuine Irish player to chance of representing his country. There would still be a “united Ireland” team had the FAI decided not to break away following the Irish Free State leaving the United Kingdom. I’m sure if they were prepared to give up their separate status, the IFA would welcome them back.

  • George

    Tony is a great journalist and saw that this was worth an article, nothing more.

    As he didn’t understand the hatred he experienced in Belfast in 1993, it’s also likely he won’t understand why people would say he hasn’t a right to comment on this because “he isn’t Irish” even though he played over 80 times for Ireland.

    Keithm,
    If you ever saw Tony play with the green jersey on, you wouldn’t say he wasn’t a genuine Irish player. He believed he was eligible, Eoin Hand believed he was eligible , he was asked and the Icecream man gave his all, every game. I bet you couldn’t even name the “Irish player” whose place he supposedly took.

    By the way under the 1991 Adoption Act, Tony got retrospective eligibility.

  • smcgiff

    ‘retrospective eligibility’ – Hah! An Irish solution to an Irish problem if I ever saw one! 😉

  • IJP

    I didn’t say he couldn’t comment.

    However, I do think the ‘retrospective eligibility’ was an outrage which should a) have seen the FAI penalized for cheating, and b) seen reforms to the eligibility criteria.

    I for one think players should have to choose at age 18, perhaps being allowed to change at 21 if they have not played a competitive game, which country they are to represent. And that should be that.

  • George

    no smcgiff,
    why the sneering remark? It was an Act for the benefit of all adopted children not just those who can play football. Tony was just one of the beneficiaries.

    How would you like it if you first found out you were adopted and then found out this removed your right to the same citizenship as the people you thought were your parents because they adopted you outside this jurisdiction.

    That is what the 1991 Act did, it gave the same right to children adopted outside this jurisdiction to those adopted within it.

  • smcgiff

    George,

    RETROSPECTIVE eligibility? Sorry if you can’t see the humour in this.

  • maca

    Cas was a very committed Irish player who gave 100% on field and deserves as much respect for that as Giles, Bonner, Moran or anyone.

  • beano

    By retrospective elligibility can I assume he’d played before he was “elligible” under this definition?

  • PS

    It was hardly cheating IJP. There was no “guilty mind”. As already pointed out, all sides involved believed he was eligible.

  • George

    Beano,
    Tony and the FAI thought he was eligible when he was selected in 1985 but he found out in 1996 that he wasn’t eligible as his mother had been adopted.

    It’s a moot point as he actually was eligible because of the 1991 Adoption Act which worked retrospectively.

    Smcgiff,
    I referred to sneering because your post seemed to imply you actually believe that Irish adoption laws would be changed for the benefit of the Irish football team rather than for the benefit of adopted children.

  • smcgiff

    ’I referred to sneering because your post seemed to imply you actually believe that Irish adoption laws would be changed for the benefit of the Irish football team rather than for the benefit of adopted children.’

    Er, no.

  • Ringo

    George,

    Much as I like the man, and tip my hat at the performances for the Republic, what ever way you choose to look at it, Cas wasn’t Irish. Neither was Andy Townsend, and many more.

    Of the current crop, Matt Holland and Clinton Morrison aren’t Irish. Zinedine Kilbane is the real deal, not sure about Andy O’Brien. The granny rule has served its purpose. We can do without football’s economic migrants, who don’t even bother to migrate. Basically if you’ve grown up here (regardless of your parents nationality), or grown up elsewhere in a family with Irish parents then you’re Irish. Aside from a few exceptions, everything else is rubbish.

    Same goes for the runner, Alaister Crag. He’s South African.

  • George

    Ringo,
    I never said he was Irish, I said he was a genuine Irish player and he was eligible to play. That’s good enough for me. If you have an Irish passport, you can play.

    Andy O’Brien is originally from Bradford.

    What about Aiden McGeady? What is your view on him? Would you have turned him down and said “sorry pal, you’re Scottish”?

    Surely members of the Irish diaspora who are eligible should be allowed to play if they so wish? I understand there should be a limit and this was probably crossed under big Jack but ironically, it was all these foreign legionnaires which led to more children taking up football, the main reason for the side’s current strength.

  • Ivor Dewdney

    Never mind about the comments about Cascarino’s footballing skills; I’m concerned and not a little scared at George’s assertion that Cas is a great journalist.

    Even given the tendency of most posters here towards hyperbole, this takes the cake. Great journalist?

    I assume tongue was firmly in cheek, George. Please?…

  • Young Irelander

    Why the hell is David Healy keeping out Clinton Morrisson in Cascarino’s team?Morrisson is premiership quality.

    Also, I think in an all-Ireland team, Neil Lennon would return.Lennon and Keane wouldn’t be a bad combination…

  • IJP

    PS

    The team must prove eligibility, not just that he ‘may be’ able to play!

    That said, it is outrageous that the checks were not sufficient – to be fair, FIFA and UEFA are probably more at fault that the FAI. Which should surprise no one…

  • PS

    Lennon and Keane wouldn’t be a bad combination…

    Doubt Lennon would be anywhere near the team YI. Probably good enough for the squad but I couldn’t see him getting a starting place ahead of Kilbane or Andy Reid or even the likes of McGeady.

  • Young Irelander

    PS,

    McGeady’s not quite the finished article in my view but Lennon and Keane probably are too similar to play together so you may have a point.

  • Henry94

    It is interesting to note that the threads about a united ireland soccer team are attracting more comment and passion than the treads about a united Ireland. If we, the political geeks, care more for sport than politics imagine how normal people feel.

    The problem is NI supporters see it as a takeover and ROI supporters see it as a handy source of new talent for what would be effectivey the same team.

    I’m inclined to go along with KiethM’s view

    There would still be a “united Ireland” team had the FAI decided not to break away following the Irish Free State leaving the United Kingdom. I’m sure if they were prepared to give up their separate status, the IFA would welcome them back.

    It is true that in this case it was the south who imposed partition on the game and it is they who should return. That would at least balance the sense of sacrifice involved.

    The question for NI supporters then is would you welcome such a return.

  • IJP

    Henry

    Good point. Except…

    ROI supporters see it as a handy source of new talent

    … new talent? In the North? :))

    Seriously though, that refers to a point fair_deal made on another thread: the problem isn’t the standard ‘oh we’d be better if we united’, it is that the game in the North is shambolically organized. It is that which needs sorting.

  • Henry94

    IJP

    … new talent? In the North? :))

    Apples will grow again. But I suspect those who now fear that no NI players would get picked will then say that NI has enough good players to justify its own team!

    The issue is around identity. A failing NI team appears to have created a kind of spirit of its own which is admirable. But I’d hate to see players who are capable of and deserve to play at the World cup missing out because of the split.

    Maybe nationalists offering more support for the NI team would help break the ice a bit. So I’m going to make a point of cheering for the north in their next match. Who are we playing?

  • IJP

    Henry

    Glad I’m not alone awake at this outrageous hour!

    But I’d hate to see players who are capable of and deserve to play at the World cup missing out because of the split.

    But again, this is a false argument.

    Firstly, countries the size of NI qualify for every major tournament. Latvia qualified for Euro 2004, Slovenia for World Cup ’02 and Euro 2000, and so on. If NI has enough good players, it’ll qualify (and, bluntly, when it does Nationalists will have no problem supporting it!)

    Secondly, great players miss out because of the country they’re born in, that’s life. Ryan Giggs, Neville Southall and Ian Rush – truly world-class players – never played in a World Cup because Wales was ‘split’ from England. Others such as George Weah (from Liberia) always missed out. That’s life.

    And of course thirdly, how about an all-UK/Ireland team based on your logic? And round we go again…

    Basically the situation much like the penalty shoot-out – it’s not ideal, but no one else has come up with a better idea yet!

    As you know rightly, NI will be suffering, sorry, playing against England at 3pm…

  • Henry94

    IJP

    Latvia is not partitioned so the issue is not the same at all. In some sports there is already an all-Ireland team so the debate is just about soccer becomming one of them. There is considerable opinion in favour on both sides of the border while there is no support anywhere for an Ireland/UK team. An EU team would make more sense in representational terms but neither make sense in football terms.

    There is of course a British and Irish rugby team from time to time and nobody has any hang-ups about it.

  • IJP

    Henry

    Latvia is not partitioned

    Nor is Northern Ireland. What’s your point?

    It is clearly the UK, not the island of Ireland, that is partitioned for sporting purposes.

    the debate is just about soccer becomming one of them.

    A more logical debate would be why other sports don’t become like soccer (and netball, snooker, etc etc). The answer is the same: because that’s the way it is.

    there is no support anywhere for an Ireland/UK team.

    Maybe not in your neck of the woods, but there’s huge support for it (or at least an all-UK team) around here.

    The debate was much more in favour of an all-UK team in the ’80s (see the other thread) because each of the four would’ve made a significant contribution to a clearly world-beating team. In the ’00s it’s not talked about because a UK team would be basically England + Giggs. Likewise in the ’80s an all-Ireland team was barely mentioned (since NI was busy qualifying for everything and winning in Germany and Spain). Like you say, apples…

    Try to enjoy this afternoon’s game, remember, the team you’re supporting is the one that never enters the other team’s half… 🙂

    At least until this evening, when the other set of boys in green kicks off in Tel Aviv live on five, and best of luck to them too.

  • Henry94

    In fact Latvia as we know it is a fairly recent phenomenon. Historically, it consists of two ancient duchies: Livonia and Courland. Neither would have qualified on their own. At 2.6 million people it’s a lot bigger than the north and Gaelic football is not very popular.

  • IJP

    Hmmm, actually Henry basketball is by far the most popular sport in Latvia. So the equation is precisely the same. There is also a significant Russian minority. So the more you look at it, the more similar it is. They just organize the game better and, of course, they had a bit of luck.

    Now Livonia, that is partitioned – much of it is in Estonia.

    Anyway, just you hold fire, at 4.50pm today I’ll be more than happy to advocate anything that doesn’t involve trouncings by our dear neighbours from across the wave…!! 🙂

  • maca

    Henry
    “It is true that in this case it was the south who imposed partition on the game and it is they who should return”

    That’s debatable Henry. As far as I know (and I admit I don’t know everything) the game was not being supported in the South by the IFA which led to the formation of the Leinster Football Association.
    There was also the feeling that the IFA favoured Ulster based protestant teams, especially where internationals were concerned.
    Eventually clubs got pissed off, Bohemians, St. James’s Gate and Shelbourne left the Irish League, a short while later the Football Association of the Irish Free State was formed.
    It wasn’t as black and white as most people make out, rather than a break away it was more natural development.

  • IJP

    Henry

    What do you mean you can’t understand why we bother…? :)))