FIFA says yes to the boys in green

There has been some heated debate, and even more heated debate about the situation regarding footballers from Northern Ireland declaring for the Republic of Ireland. The IFA is also confused so it seemed only sensible for Slugger to ask FIFA’s legal department what the exact situation is.Here is the reply received in its totality:

“Your question makes reference to the requirements imposed on players terms of nationality. In order for a footballer to play for his association, he must hold the nationality of the country that this association represents. Once a player has represented an association in an international official match at any age category, he is no longer eligible to play for a different association.

An exception to this rule is contained in art. 15.3 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes. A player whose nationality entitles him to play for more than one association (as is the case with the UK passport) or who is holder of more than one nationality, can apply to change association. This possibility, however, is limited to those players who have not played at “A” international level and who already had the nationality of the association that they are seeking to join at the time of their very first international official match. Furthermore, such a change is possible only once, up to the age of 21 and must be approved by the FIFA Players’ Status Committee.

Therefore, any player who has more than one nationality – as appears to be the case in Northern Ireland – will have the right to change association teams under the strict conditions of art. 15.3 of the aforementioned regulations.

The objective of this provision – allowing the change association teams – is to provide young players who hold more than one nationality the possibility of reversing the choice of association team that they will have made at a young age.

The parent/grandparent rule, on the other hand, seeks to ensure that a player has a sufficient link to the association that he wishes to represent. Therefore, if the nationality of a player entitles him to represent more than one association, the player must show that he, his parents or his grandparents were born in the territory of the association that he wishes to represent or that he lived in the territory of this association for a least two years. Similarly, a player who never played for his former association at international level but who later on obtains a new nationality, must also show that he has such a link to the country of the new association for which he wishes to play for that goes beyond just obtaining the passport (FIFA Circular Letter no. 901). This is the rule that is set out in art. 1 of annex 2 of the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players.

The parent/grandparent rule, therefore, is only relevant for a Northern Irish player who is seeking to play for another British association team.

To play for the Republic of Ireland, the player must be a national of the Republic of Ireland and, if he previously played for a youth team of Northern Ireland, he must also obtain the approval of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee to carry out this change.

FIFA dealt with an inquiry concerning the player Alex Bruce in March of this year and that, to my knowledge, our response issued then remains applicable at present. In order for the player Bruce to be able to play for a representative team of the Republic of Ireland, he shall be required to hold a passport of the Republic of Ireland.

This principle is clearly established in art. 15 par. 1 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes. The same article lays down the conditions that must be met by a player who has changed his nationality or who has acquired a new nationality.

For a player who was born outside of the UK, and who is later granted British passport, the principles of the aforementioned art. 15 apply. In addition, the player will be required to fulfil at least one of the conditions set out in art. 1 of annex 1 of the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players. As the player will not have been born in the UK, he must have a parent/grandparent who was born in the UK or himself have lived in the UK for at least two years without interruption.”

The relevant Article 15.1 of the FIFA Statute states:

“Any person holding the nationality of a country is eligible to play for the representative teams of the Association of his country.”

So that’s the situation from the horse’s mouth. If you have an Irish passport you can play for the Republic of Ireland so Northern boys can come on down if they want to.

  • dan

    #Sadly, I think I’m coming round to George’s interpretation.’
    Willowfield
    ——————————————-
    Ah well-Better late than never.

    Must get you the FIFA Rule Book for Slow Learners, you dimwit.

    ONE-NIL!!!

  • Doctor Who

    Dec

    There has been no line from FIFA on this as yet…it has come about because the FAI are looking for loopholes and to exploit. Only recently they complained that a player should be able to play for ROI carrying a Brit passport. No Northern Ireland suppoerter cocerned with this has used the term dis-loyal, disapointed maybe. Your line on these players being misguided in their youth to play for NI is utter tripe.
    Go and ask what it did for the careers of Martin O´Neill, Pat Jennings, Gerry Armstrong et al.

    Maca

    I am going to log off now as i´m going to watch some football, something that you are clearly not interested in. I suggest you go do the same and come back when you have anything constructive to say.

    Adios chicos malos

  • Realist

    dec,

    “You would be wrong. “A” international level is the Full senior squad. According to the BBC, O’Connor has played for NI under-21 six times, however this is irrelevant as the relevant FIFA section states up to the age of 21.”

    I don’t think O’Connor has played for Northern Ireland Under 21’s – he has played for our Under 19’s tho.

    I believe the recent Brian McLean situation acts as a precedent here – capped competitively for Scotland under 21’s, deemed ineligible to play for Northern Ireland in consequence.

    “I’m not in aposition to state authoritively why these players decided to opt for the Republic”

    It would provide clarity if an authoritive answer was forthcoming from the players concerned.

  • DW
    Off you go. You won’t be missed. There’s enough trolls around here.

  • young newt

    ‘I believe the recent Brian McLean situation acts as a precedent here – capped competitively for Scotland under 21’s, deemed ineligible to play for Northern Ireland in consequence. ‘

    Realist does this mean that we might be able to get O’Connor banned from playing for the ROI?

  • I think it should be clear enough lads. Once a player represents a country at U21 level he can’t change. At least that’s my understanding.

    “does this mean that we might be able to get O’Connor banned from playing for the ROI?”

    That’s what it’s all about really. No consideration for what the fella himself wants, just don’t let him play for the ROI.

  • dub

    mike et al,

    sorry if my last post was a little intemperate but it really is amazing how you could all get this so wrong…

    basic rule of fifa is under art 15.1 that if you have the nationality of a country then you can play for that country… it is entirely up to that country how it frames its nationality laws and who it bestows nationality upon.

    under irish law anyone born on the island of ireland is irish from the moment of his/her birth… this is also the case for anyone born in another country altogether born of irish parents, in fact one parent or one grandparent will suffice.

    all these people can automatically declare for ireland.

    people born in ni or in gb of irish parentage can avail of britsh citizenship as well and could hold both passports or either.

    they therefore have a choice who they can play for.. rep of ireland or the “home country” (that’s the 4 constituent bits of uk, mike et al) they were either born in or have grandparents from etc etc…

    once this choice is made it is irrevocable after age of 21.. before that in certain circumstances it can be changed… note that anyone born on island of ireland or abroad to irish parentage is irish from birth ie always had that nationality…

    u are throwing in recent decision re passports in north to confuse matters..up until now anyone born in ni is entitled to british nationality and can therefore play for ni.. now that british govt has recognised that anyone born in ni can be either british or irish or both and be still recognised as full citizens then fifa has recognised that for the purpose of validating eligibility they will no longer insist on a british passport being produced by players for ni prior to a match.. an irish one will do… the eligibility rules themselves have not changed for ni players ie you must have been born there, have a grandparent from there etc etc…

    these changes as regards part of uk territory (that is the reality whether i like it or not) have no implications for eligbiliity rules for irish citizens who wish to play for ROI.

    the fact that you and other unionist bloggers here basically want to block free choice for people in ni as to which national association they play for speaks volumes and the fact that words like “poach” and “defect” are being bandied about..

    the same situation applies in swimming to my knowledge and athletics… these rows do not seem to go on there..

    it is elementary justice for all nationalists in ni (and by this i do not mean catholics) in ni that having been incorporated into the state of ni against their will they can be culturally and politically represented at all times by ROI if that is their wish… and the same applies to unionists in respect of uk govt.. that’s the meaning of GFA guys.. its the compromise nationalists made in return for recognising ni’s place in uk for as long as a majority supports that..

    its called parity of esteem you guys and boy you seem to hate it.

  • dub

    i see one of my posts appears to have been deleted..

    so much for freedom of speech..

    i will be more subtle next time.

  • Dec

    Dr Who

    Your line on these players being misguided in their youth to play for NI is utter tripe.

    If you’re going to throw back quotes on me, try not to make them up. It doesn’t help your argument. Also, wittering on about the FAI ‘tapping up’ players is just a nonsense (unless of course these players signed multi-year contracts with the IFA that night they turned up for an U17 training session).

    realist

    I believe the recent Brian McLean situation acts as a precedent here – capped competitively for Scotland under 21’s, deemed ineligible to play for Northern Ireland in consequence.

    I don’t think so. Blame the IFA for that (and they subsequently held their hands up). McLean Was ineligible under Uefa rules because he needed to play a competitive match for NI before he was 21 after his earlier appearance for the Scots.

    Young Newt
    Realist does this mean that we might be able to get O’Connor banned from playing for the ROI?

    Now even if that were possible (which I strongly doubt given that he’s only 19) what possible purpose would it serve?

  • Doctor Who

    Young Newt is a troll of the highest order, he also posts under the name Are We A Country and quite possibly Maca as well.

    Admin can you confirm this.

  • Dec

    Maca

    Once a player represents a country at U21 level he can’t change. At least that’s my understanding.

    Not so, its the age, not the level. As I’ve stated above O’Connor is only 19. However it seems he will have to play for the Full International side before the age of 21 or he will become ineligible.

  • Dub
    Slight clarification…
    “under irish law anyone born on the island of ireland is irish from the moment of his/her birth”

    This isn’t exactly the case as far as I know. Anyone born in NI is entitled to Irish citizenship but not actually presumed to be an Irish citizen (maybe unless a parent is).

  • DW
    “Young Newt is a troll of the highest order, he also posts under the name Are We A Country and quite possibly Maca as well.”

    As much as you’d love to be able to dismiss me as nothing more a troll [that would let you off the hook wouldn’t it!] unfortunately for you Mick or any mods with the relevant rights can easily confirm the truth.

    Mick, I’ll even make a donation if you post the details here. And then perhaps you might issue DW with the overdue card he so much deserves for his earlier vile insults.

  • Dec
    “Not so, its the age, not the level”

    My mistake, thx for the clarification.

  • dub

    mike,

    irish nationality does NOT in principle allow you to play for more than one team..

    it is not their irish nationality that allows anyone born in ni to play for ni, it is the fact that they are born there and are therefore under british law citizens (british citizens in fact).

    fifa has merely waived the requirement that a british passport be produced at matches to validate to their officials the eligibiltiy of ni players.. effectively they are saying that they trust ifa to apply the eligibility rules correctly… in other words someone from dublin with irish nationality and passport would not get past first barrier of eligibility with ifa.. if by some mishap they did then fifa would not spot it before a match.. pretty unlikely scenario you will agree…

    all this is due to fact that “home nations” do not have right to grant passports for obvious reasons… roi does not fall into this category of non state nation and therefore your attempts to draw it in to same status as home nations is wrong..

    at end of day fifa will go along with what all political parties in north and 2 govts have agreed: that anyone in north be irish or british or both.. and that means that anyone can declare for one of 2 associations in some sports (in most sports they can only declare for ireland by the way…)

    rather than stopping nationalists from exercising their god given rights perhaps if you really care about freedom of choice you should be campaigning on this last issue…

  • Well if any player in the North feels irish and feels his flag is the flag of Ireland of course he should be able to play for the Ireland (rep) team. Anyway, there probably will be an all UK or great Britain team in the future and that will settle the matter. Those who support and want to play for Britain can play with them and the the other 85% of the island can play and support the team called Ireland. It’s unfair on the other european countries who try and qualify for the World Cup and Euros. The UK has the chance of four teams representing it whilst the other respective countries have only one team. One team for Ireland and one for Britain.

  • dub

    maca,

    as far as i know you are wrong there… after gfa the irish passport form changed.. used to have a special section for those born in ni.. they effectively had to declare for irish citizenhip by stating that one of their grandparents born before 1921 on island of ireland etc.. this was not restrictive to a certain generation of ni applicants as there was then an ingenious formula along lines of “if one your grand parents could have said…” etc.. which allowed irish citizenship to ni born forever…this has now changed.. there is no separate section on form for ni people to fill in… they get the passport on same basis as everyone else in ireland.. by producing their birth cert… actually that is now not quite true.. after mcdowell’s citizenship referendum everyone born on island after a cetain date (a couple of years ago) has to prove residency on island of their parents for a few years as well… but point remains ni people get irish citizenship on same basis as everyone else on the island.. this is now post gfa enshrined in constitution (which it was not before)..

    so yes you are right about the position pre gfa but not post.

    AT LEAST THAT’S WHAT I THINK!!

  • dub

    i made this point about irish nationality from birth because of bit in fifa rules under the exception where player must already have had the nationality of the association he is changing to…

    this is patently the case for anyone born in ni under irish AND (read the gfa) British law…

    fifa sees ni born as holders of 2 nationalities, only one of which allows a holder to claim for multiple teams (that’s where the grandparent rule kicks in).

    i think that a lot of unionists do not seem to understand that nationalists in the north who support roi team and play for it do so because they see it as a de facto all ireland team.. they are playing for ireland.. or indeed rep of ireland in that rep of ireland as well as being a place is an idea and you will all remember where the republic of ireland was first declared (cavehill in belfast by wolfe tone).

    many ni supporters see ni as an ireland team as well and it represents for them presumably another idea of ireland and that is fine by me..

  • willowfield

    this is patently the case for anyone born in ni under irish AND (read the gfa) British law…

    Nonsense. UK law is completely irrelevant. Southern Ireland makes its own laws! It’s independent, you know!

  • dub

    willow,

    indeed. i only made the point as we are talking about the nationality of people born in ni. ireland has decided that all of these people are irish from birth but i added the point about the british govt’s view as the part of ireland known as ni is currently under the control of the british govt and it seemed to me to be worth pointing our that they not only have no problem with the irish govt’s view they actually share it.

  • willowfield

    It’s not a “view”: it’s a legal fact.

    Southern Ireland makes its own laws. The UK does not legislate for Southern Irish citizenship.

  • willowfield

    Incidentally, what a stupid title for this thread. Both NI and ROI wear green, so the title doesn’t indicate to whom FIFA is saying “yes”.

  • Dec

    WF

    Prattling on about Southern Ireland as if it’s an actual country is stupid. Doesn’t stop you.

  • Doctor Who

    There was an article in the Spanish sports paper Marca, refering to Andora trying to get Spanish players with little hope of playing for Spain, to turn out for the Andora team.

    It appears the Spanish objected to this and the Andorans accepted.

    Food for thought.

    This article is from Tuesday´s edition but unfortunately there is no online edition.

  • Dec

    There was an article in the Spanish sports paper Marca, refering to Andora trying to get Spanish players with little hope of playing for Spain, to turn out for the Andora team.

    Does almost half of the population of Spain consider themselves exclusively Irish?

    Food for thought.

  • dub

    willow,

    wtf is your problem. of course ireland makes its own laws.

    i was merely pointing out that in the situation where some (including you) seem to disagree with its laws on nationality (in particular its bestowal on all northerners of irish nationality) that the govt which is the sovereign govt in ni not only has no problem with this .. they have actually legislated to accomodate this.

    this is not same as saying that brits have or should have any influence on irish law.

    u seem to be so keen on debating that u lose sight of what you should be doing… telling us what you think.. but this it seems to me is common to northern unionists… they know what they are against but have no idea what they are for… example: someone from roi tells them that ni team is not irish, they will react (quite correctly) and say no it is irish how dare you say that, not only is it irish it is more irish than your team (examples of people making this argument: Billy Bingham and Willowfield).. and then if same roi person says oh thats great you are right its great to hear you say that then why dont all of us who consider ourselves irish form one team and indeed one country.. then they are shot down in flames… no no you are not respecting the integrity of northern ireland where the majority of us consider ourselves british and not irish…

    I could go on…you and your ilk willowfield msy think you are damnedly clever… the rest of the world thinks that your are utter eejits.

    btw; there is nowhere on the planet known as “southern ireland”. i personlly detest the concept of northern ireland but i am happy to admit that there is a place called northern ireland and i am happy to use that term to describe that territory when i need to differentiate that territory.

    by the way is malin head in the place you refer to as “southern ireland”?

  • Dec

    D’oh

    Should of course have read:

    Does almost half of the population of Spain consider themselves exclusively Andorran?

    Memo to self: read back what you type

  • Doctor Who

    Dec

    Playing for Northern Ireland,does not make one less Irish or if you want less British.

    I support Northern Ireland, I am not less Irish for it.

    The point I was making was that Andora where trying to exploit loopholes in the FIFA rules in the same way as FAI are currently doing.

    If the FAI are sucessful with this..it will open the floodgates, that´s why FIFA will tighten the screw on these sleeked tactics by the FAI.

  • Dec

    Doctor

    Playing for Northern Ireland,does not make one less Irish or if you want less British.

    I support Northern Ireland, I am not less Irish for it.

    I totally accept that. However, we have a fairly unique situation here, you’ll agree, and I don’t believe comparing the situation here with Spain and Andorra is valid.

    I think you’re coming at this from the wrong angle ie If the FAI are sucessful with this…. These guys have made their own decisions and you have to accept that. There is no evidence whatsoever the FAI have engaged in any underhand behaviour whatsoever.

    that´s why FIFA will tighten the screw on these sleeked tactics by the FAI.

    FIFA changed their regulations to make what has happened perfectly legal. You have to remember, when these guys played at junior level they were still legally children. They’;re allowed to change their minds.

    What I would say is that I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that not one single supporter of NI has made the connection between the issue of flags and anthems surrounding NI matches and these events.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    I appreciate you saying you are coming around to my way of thinking on this issue. To paraphrase your good self, is that your way of admitting you were wrong?

    Mike,
    The question I asked FIFA was what was the position regarding eligibility to play for the Republic of Ireland of football players born in Northern Ireland who held an Irish passport.

    Doctor Who,
    If you don’t think calling me a provo is calling me a terrorist, that’s your affair but thanks for the apology for calling me a provo b*igot because of my interpretation of FIFA regulations nonetheless. I feel it was important.

  • Doctor Who

    DEC

    The anthem debate is on going amongst fans..I firmly believe even though GSTQ is the anthem of our country it is inapropriate for Northern Ireland matches.

    On another thread a Nationalist stated that Danny Boy was sectarian as it was seen as being synonymous with NI only, so you see nothing short of Soldiers Song would be acceptable to many Nationalists.

    This is of course demonstrated in Rugby where the Northern traditions are not respected but respect for the flag and anthem is still shown by the Northern representatives and supporters.

    On flags, recently in Copenhagen many flags where used to express Northern Ireland identity. The Union Flag which incorporates the St. Patricks Cross, the Ulster flag encorporated on many all ireland symbols, the St. Patricks cross itself was heavily on display and of course the IFA flag was very evident. I never witnessed any controversial flags.

    What this said to me was not a culture confused about it´s identity, but one full of varying ways to express it.

    If we are to have a new anthem for NI matches I would hope it could be one reflecting the great heroes from our past and present who put Political and cultural differnces aside and play for the united green of Northern Ireland. What I don´t want is a half baked cliched, bland token gesture penned by Phill Coulter.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Dec – ‘not one single supporter of NI has made the connection between the issue of flags and anthems surrounding NI matches and these events.’

    Re-joining this conversation late in the piece having left it to the trolls and those that really give a shit about the political preferences of a couple of football-playing teenagers, you are right.

    Some will want to play for NI, some will want to play for ROI. Instead of the IFA and for that matter, NI fans, complaining about kids choosing ROI over NI, they should look at what they can do to ensure more young players don’t switch allegiances. Changing the flag, (eventually) changing the stadium and above all, changing the anthem are definitely routes to go down so that young players from both sides of the community can feel like playing for the team, which is after all, an ‘Irish’ team.

    There are some here who would never want to see young Catholics playing for NI, no matter what the IFA did, and there is little that can be done regarding this mind-set, but plenty that can be done to encourage those that play for NI as schoolboys to also play as adults. Whether we like it or not, the playing of GSTQ and the flying of the Stormont flag are not inclusive.

    BTW – George – well done in getting off your arse and actually clarifying the situation with FIFA. This is the kind of proactive action one likes to see from a Slugger contributor. Good work fella.

  • Doctor Who

    TWGM

    “BTW – George – well done in getting off your arse and actually clarifying the situation with FIFA. This is the kind of proactive action one likes to see from a Slugger contributor. Good work fella.”

    But you see, he didn´t. This was not news, what was e mailed to George is already in the Pulic domain…I can see why George thinks it paves the way for a FAI raid, but I can´t understand how he doesn´t see the ambiguity and the utter mess FIFA will face, if this is allowed to happen.

    Again George I am genuinely sorry for the insult, but can I ask you do you think the FAI have behaved in the spirit of Sportmanship on this issue.

  • Dec

    Doctor Who

    What I don´t want is a half baked cliched, bland token gesture penned by Phill Coulter.

    i couldn’t agree more. ‘Ireland’s Call’ is an embarrassing dirge and I always channel surf when its played. personally, i think Irish sport should play ‘Teenage Kicks’ but that’s a personal thing. (Try to imagine it though…good, eh?).

    <

  • Cahal

    A new flag for ‘northern Ireland’?!

    You guys just don’t get it. Any flag which represents the six counties will not represent any republican. Anything that seeks to artificially differentiate the north east from the rest of the country is unwelcome.

    The FAI should begin to organize in the north.

  • George

    Doctor Who,
    for me, it was clear that Article 15.1 was the relevant article and the parent rule, residential requirements, emergency statutes etc. brought up recently didn’t apply.

    This didn’t seem to be the opinion of many others here, including the IFA it appears.

    FIFA prepared this information put up specifically to give their view on this issue because of the confusion and in it confirmed that Article 15.1 is indeed the applicable one, thus reiterating that their position is that as shown in the Bruce case.

    The question I would like answered is who has been peddling this residence rule myth?

    I would ask that if, as you say, this was all already in the public domain, why many people, including it seems the IFA, all of sudden seemed to think something totally different?

    Regarding the FAI, my understanding was that in previous years there was an unwritten agreement with the IFA that they wouldn’t look to poach each other’s players.

    I have approaching zero respect for the FAI and wouldn’t be surprised if they are now tapping up players.

    But if I was asked to give an opinion as to what is going on I would say it is more likely that others are now pushing at an open door (parents, agents, clubs, community, coaches?) with the FAI who are doing nothing to stop the practise, rather than any new policy of active tapping up.

    The FAI would sign my mother if they thought there was a buck in it so sportsmanship isn’t a term I’d use to describe them.

  • Mark

    I’d like to echo TWGM’s praise of George.

    A proactive blog that not only scooped the MSM but the IFA.

    Well done that man.

    Prepare to see your hard work appear in the press and don’t be expecting a credit, we’ll all know though.

  • Doctor Who

    Cahal

    “You guys just don’t get it. Any flag which represents the six counties will not represent any republican. Anything that seeks to artificially differentiate the north east from the rest of the country is unwelcome.”

    You completely and unwittingly prove my point.

    Thankyou

    Dec

    Great idea, i remember this being sung at matches before..Can I put forward Nowhere by Therapy? which would be very apropriate for this blog or of course a more predictable on would be Alternative Ulster by SLF.

    Awesome

  • who needs the papers

    And well done to Mick for giving the platform for it all.

    Jasus, this internet’s great !!

  • Doctor Who

    “And well done to Mick for giving the platform for it all.”

    And toto too and toto too.

    Oh dear I may need some sleep.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Cahal – as I said, for some people the mindset is set in stone. Your views are irrelevant and will play no part in the future battle for hearts and minds.

    BTW – still promoting those partitionist Northern Ireland websites?

  • Cahal

    TWGM
    A new northern flag or anthem is of zero worth in terms of community relations. How many northern nationalists are in favour of creating a flag or anthem for the 6 counties. It is merely another attempt at legitimizing the northern state.

    I’m afraid we aren’t just going to roll over and realize we are all actually ‘NORN Arish’ with our own wee flag and anthem – just like a real country.

    A new Irish flag and anthem for a new 32 county republic – that I can live with.

  • Billy

    George

    Well Done

    Dr Who

    Funny to see your reaction since George has proved you wrong. Initially you accused him of forging a letter from FIFA, then you start calling him a “provo b-i-g-o-t”.

    How pathetic is that?

    Admittedly, I don’t know (or care) about the background of the individual players that you mention – so you may or may not have a point about their cases.

    However, it is CLEAR (despite your pointless protestations) that, if a player born in NI wants to play for RoI and they haven’t represented NI at any level previously, there is no legal impediment to them doing so.

    It’s clear that you are one of the Billy BOY B-I-G-O-T-S that the IFA (to their credit)have been trying to get rid off.

    It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong and you have clearly proved that you are not that.

    Anyone with any intelligence can see that you have been proved wrong. Since you don’t have the intelligence to accept it gracefully, why don’t you piss off back to the NI Supporters club and poractise your No Surrender chants.

  • Gerry Armstrong’s Big Toe

    Small cow, far away cow

    When the lads in the Balkans get a handle on this one, I’d guess it could be back to war time

  • darth rumsfeld

    “What I would say is that I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that not one single supporter of NI has made the connection between the issue of flags and anthems surrounding NI matches and these events.

    Posted by Dec on Oct 19, 2006 @ 11:52 PM”

    Because there isn’t one. What interests me about this is that these young players have been tapped by ther FAI, not the other way round. What eaxactly do you imagine they are saying? Possibly they are exploiting the perceived religious or political opinions of the players. Do you imagine they contacted Kyle Lafferty or Jonny Evans? Whyever not, do you imagine? So which is the sectarian FA again?

  • Mike

    Mark –
    ———————–
    I’d like to echo TWGM’s praise of George.
    A proactive blog that not only scooped the MSM but the IFA.
    Well done that man.
    Prepare to see your hard work appear in the press and don’t be expecting a credit, we’ll all know though.
    —————————-
    I think George has done this as a member of ‘the press’, going by “Political divisions sending Northern Irish footballers south By George Burns” published by dpa German Press Agency on Thursday. Or at least has been credited, anyway.

  • Mike

    George –

    ———————–
    The question I asked FIFA was what was the position regarding eligibility to play for the Republic of Ireland of football players born in Northern Ireland who held an Irish passport.
    ———————–

    Well, there’s the rub. Your question effectively frames the answer.

    If you had asked FIFA a qestion something like this:

    “Given that: the Republic of Ireland makes its citizenship available to anyone born in Northern Ireland, as well as in the Republic of Ireland; people from Northern Ireland can hold citizenship of the United Kingdom and/or the Republic of Ireland; players can show officials either a United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland passport to show eligibility to play for Northern Ireland, provided they have a birth/parent/grandparent/residence connection to Northern Ireland; United Kingdom citizens are in principle qualified to play for all four UK teams but in practice must have a birth/parent/grandparent/residence connection to the territory of the association in question; do Republic of Ireland citizens from Northern Ireland need to have a birth/parent/grandparent connection to the Republic of Ireland, or does their RoI citizenship alone qualify them to play for the RoI, or do they need a birth/parent/grandparent/residence connection to the territory of the association?”

    Your answer may have been very different.

    I certainly wouldn’t treat that reply as gospel: I don’t think all factors were taken into account.

  • BP1078

    So, in reality the MSM scooped the MSM, wondered why his Email to FIFA got answered quicker than mine!

  • Sir David Healy

    I’m a life-long NI supporter and I honest can’t understand what all this fuss is about. If someone from NI wants to play for the RoI, I say work away, all the best to ye. I wouldnt want someone playing in a NI shirt if they took no pride in it.

    I honestly couldnt care less if he played for NI as a youth either – this is probably got more to do with geography than anything else – ie schoolboy players in NI are more likely to be initially scouted by the IFA then noticed later on in their career by the FAI. Big deal? We seems to be doing quite well with the players we have at the moment, who actually want to play for NI, thanks very much!

    Aye and ditch GSTQ, it’s a dirge & it only gives the No Surrender monkeys a chance to embarrass us at every match. Doc Who – spot on, has to be Alternative Ulster! Failing that, get the fans to compose a new song – like they did with Not Brazil.

    GAWA!

  • Dec

    What interests me about this is that these young players have been tapped by ther FAI, not the other way round. What eaxactly do you imagine they are saying? Possibly they are exploiting the perceived religious or political opinions of the players. Do you imagine they contacted Kyle Lafferty or Jonny Evans? Whyever not, do you imagine? So which is the sectarian FA again?

    Darth

    First of all, there is no evidence whatsoever the FAI took a proactive role in these incidents. If you’ve any evidence produce it. So we can all safely ignore your subsequent accusations of sectarianism. Also to re-iterate, employing the term ‘tapping up’ is imbecilic. Not one of these players is under contract to the IFA. Under FIFA regulations they are entitled to change Association if they wish to so. Get over it.

    Because there isn’t one.

    Like you would know. As I say, surprised but not disappointed

  • George

    Mike,
    when you ask for information in a professional capacity and in the name of an organisation, then it would be unprofessional to use it for other purposes without also using it for the reason you asked for it.

    But believe or not this issue isn’t high on said organisation’s list of priorities. It doesn’t even have any clients in Ireland.

    As for your question, you are still trying to squeeze the parental/residential rule into the equation when FIFA has clearly stated Article 15.1 is the relevant article.

    You can try phrase the question any way you want but in the end you want to know what is the position for players born in Northern Irleand holding an Irish passport regarding eligibility to play for the Republic of Ireland. And the answer to that question lies in 15.1.

    BP1078,
    I asked in a professional capacity, that’s probably why, which then puts certain responsibilities upon me. Slugger doesn’t pay the bills and believe it or not outside the blogosphere I do have a reputation to uphold.

  • Mike

    George –

    ———————-
    As for your question, you are still trying to squeeze the parental/residential rule into the equation
    ———————-

    Well yes, that’s the nub of the issue after all.

    ———————-
    when FIFA has clearly stated Article 15.1 is the relevant article.
    ———————-

    A FIFA rep, I would submit, not fully in pursuit of the facts and arguments on the issue.

    I believe the question phrased a different way could well have got a different answer.

    Well see how the IFA get on with FIFA.

  • harry

    One of the northern born players, Marc Wilson from Lurgan said the following when asked about the increase of players from the North opting to play for Ireland

    Wilson claimed that there was no underlying reason for the trend. He said: “I think everybody has their own personal reasons for wanting to play for the Republic or the North. I grew up supporting Ireland so it was a comfortable decision for me.”

    Darron Gibson said much the same when asked about his inclusion a couple of years ago.

    Yound lads growing up supporting the Republic of Ireland (as do the vast majority of Nationalists in the north), decide to play for the Republic Of Ireland.

    Stop Press…

    Teenagers want to emulate their heroes..

    Shock ! Horror !

    Some conspiracy.

  • George

    But Mike the point is that FIFA have stated that parental/residential Emergency Statute etc. isn’t the nub of it, Article 15.1 is.

    FIFA have pointed out in their position, that:

    “The parent/grandparent rule, therefore, is only relevant for a Northern Irish player who is seeking to play for another British association team.”

    It is not relevant for a player born in Northern Ireland holding an Irish passport who wants to play for the Republic of Ireland.

    Whether you feel this is wrong or contradictory is neither here nor there, FIFA have clearly laid out their position on this.

    You ask:
    “do Republic of Ireland citizens from Northern Ireland need to have a birth/parent/grandparent connection to the Republic of Ireland, or does their RoI citizenship alone qualify them to play for the RoI, or do they need a birth/parent/grandparent/residence connection to the territory of the association?”

    FIFA answer:

    “To play for the Republic of Ireland, the player must be a national of the Republic of Ireland and, if he previously played for a youth team of Northern Ireland, he must also obtain the approval of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee to carry out this change.

    FIFA dealt with an inquiry concerning the player Alex Bruce in March of this year and that, to my knowledge, our response issued then remains applicable at present. In order for the player Bruce to be able to play for a representative team of the Republic of Ireland, he shall be required to hold a passport of the Republic of Ireland.

    This principle is clearly established in art. 15 par. 1 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes”

  • willowfield

    DEC

    “So I repeat the best way forward is for FAI to contact IFA and come to an arrangement along the lines that they will not poach any player that has played competitively at any level for Northern Ireland. ”

    It seems I have to point this out again, but for the record, that would actually contradict FIFA regulations.

    How? Nowhere in FIFA’s regulations that I can see does it outlaw bilateral agreements between two associations such as the one envisaged. FIFA’s laws do not make it compulsory for one association to pick eligible players from another’s jurisdiction.

    Further, for players who have already played competitively for one association, to make the switch requires “approval of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee”. If such an agreement were possible with the FAI, it would be worth “registering” it with FIFA, thus enabling the Players’ Status Committee to enforce it by withholding approval.

  • willowfield

    CORKDAVE

    Well if any player in the North feels irish and feels his flag is the flag of Ireland of course he should be able to play for the Ireland (rep) team.

    Why? If he feels Irish he can play for Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is just as Irish as Southern Ireland.

    DEC

    Prattling on about Southern Ireland as if it’s an actual country is stupid.

    No. Denying that Southern Ireland exists is stupid. Read some history and you will learn that Ireland was partitioned into two states in 1921.

  • willowfield

    DUB

    i was merely pointing out that in the situation where some (including you) seem to disagree with its laws on nationality (in particular its bestowal on all northerners of irish nationality) that the govt which is the sovereign govt in ni not only has no problem with this .. they have actually legislated to accomodate this.

    Nonsense. They haven’t legislated to accommodate it! Southern Ireland’s citizenship is entirely a matter for Southern Irish law. UK law has no bearing on it whatsoever! Southern Ireland gained independence decades ago. The UK parliament has no jurisdiction over Southern Ireland!

    btw; there is nowhere on the planet known as “southern ireland”.

    There is.

    by the way is malin head in the place you refer to as “southern ireland”?

    Last time I checked a map, yes.

    GEORGE

    I appreciate you saying you are coming around to my way of thinking on this issue. To paraphrase your good self, is that your way of admitting you were wrong?

    Yes. When I am wrong, I have no problem admitting it. Unfortunately, you did not clearly explain your interpretation of the rule when the issue first arose, but it is now clear to me.

    CAHAL

    You guys just don’t get it. Any flag which represents the six counties will not represent any republican. Anything that seeks to artificially differentiate the north east from the rest of the country is unwelcome.

    If you really believed that, you wouldn’t support a 26-county team that also differentiates the north-east.

  • willowfield

    MIKE

    George is right.

    The parent/grandparent thing only applies to those people whose (single) nationality makes them eligible for more than one team.

    The players in question have dual nationality, and different criteria apply in such case.

    Ther remains confusion, however, since in the case of Brian McLean he fell into the former category, yet FIFA used the criteria for the latter category to make him ineligible. (He wouldn’t, however, have been eligible through the criteria of the former category either.)

  • Rory

    “To play for the Republic of Ireland, the player must be a national of the Republic of Ireland…..” from Article 15.1 (thank you, George).

    So it is simple really and I cannot understand all the confusion. A player is entitled to play for the RoI if he can claim to be an Roi national.

    The rules on that are very simple: anyone born on the island of Ireland may claim Irish nationality (there was a slight adjustment to that principle recently to deter wannabe immigrant pregnant foreign nationals from flying in merely to deliver their baby in the RoI – but other than that…). So if one is born in the north of Ireland one may claim Irish nationality and it does not matter if your da was Oliver Cromwell and your mammy Boadaceia.

    The rules for someone born abroad are different : Irish citizenship may be claimed if either of one’s parents or any of one’s grandparents were born in Ireland, except that if the only forebear who was born in Ireland happened to be born in Northern Ireland after 1922 So if one’s only connection to someone born in Ireland is a single grandparent who happened to be born in Northern Ireland after 1922 then one is not automatically eligible for Irish citizenship and could not therefore play for the RoI team. (I know that this is a bit of a moot point today as anyone with a grandparent born before 1922 is likely to be approaching their fortieth year by now).

    Of course one may obtain Irish citizenship by a number of other routes but the aforementioned is the position as regards rights earned by birth or ancestry.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    “you did not clearly explain your interpretation of the rule when the issue first arose”

    This all started on the Lawrie-Stan thread where
    I wrote:

    “Anybody with an Irish passport who hasn’t played for someone else can play for the Republic of Ireland, that includes people born in Belfast or wherever.”

    You replied:

    “Wrong. Obviously, you haven’t read the FIFA rules. Qualification for a country is not by holding a passport.”

    I replied:

    “Actually, I have read the FIFA rule, it appears you obviously haven’t.

    Article 15 of the FIFA Statutes states:

    “Any person holding the nationality of a country is eligible to play for the representative team of the association of his country.”

    This view didn’t fit with your interpretation of FIFA regulations at that time but I believe the above statement was pretty clear.

    But let’s move on as I accept my subsequent explanation of this interpretation could have been stated more succinctly.

    By the way, the “boys in green” reference in the thread title is an oblique reference to the anthem for the Republic of Ireland when they went to Euro 88.