IFA provoking political row over football eligibility?

To say the issue of nationality runs to the core of the conflict in the north of Ireland is less a controversial than a factual statement. The sensitive nature of the nationality question is recognised in the complex vocabulary of the Good Friday Agreement, which effectively endorsed the right of six-county residents to proclaim themselves (and be legitimately recognised ) as Irish, British or indeed both.
Given the political minefield that we exist in, it is truly bizarre- if not grossly offensive- that the Irish Football Association seems intent on provoking a fierce row with northern nationalists over the legitimate entitlement of members of that community, as Irish citizens, to represent the Republic of Ireland at international football level.
UPDATE: Steve Staunton has selected Darron Gibson for Wednesday night’s friendly with Denmark.
Since Derry-born teenage footballer, Darren Gibson, opted to represent the Republic of Ireland, alongside many other northern nationalist players, the IFA has lobbied the world football organisation, FIFA, in desperate efforts to thwart Gibson’s ambition to play for his own country. Their aim is simple: to prevent Irishmen from the north from representing their own country and instead leaving them with no option but to play for Northern Ireland.