IFA win ruling

Worth noting that the IFA have won their battle regarding the Republic’s team poaching Northern Irish players (already noted here). Blogging Northern Ireland football fans seem pleased. Most interesting is Beano’s assertion that this ruling is actually perfectly in line with the Belfast Agreement’s nationality provisions:

Under the agreement a person in Northern Ireland may “identify themselves and be accepted as” British, Irish or both. With the application of this principle in the Republic’s nationality law extending Irish passports to those born in Northern Ireland who want one, the real effect of the Good Friday Agreement seems to be that, in the same way as a British passport is not in itself enough to prove eligibility of a player for any single British national side, an Irish passport alone will no longer be evidence of eligibility for either Irish side.

  • Charlie

    Thankfully, Neanderthal uber-loyalists (so beloved of Billy, Kensei etc when it comes to stereotyping N. Ireland fans) haven’t been throwing in their tuppence worth on this thread and the N.I. supporters defending the IFA have broadly been the non-sectarian, fair-minded folk that the Sea of Green initiative want to attract to games. To this punter, this interminable bickering merely reveals what is a petty sideshow in the national game ie. there are those who will always have an axe to grind against the IFA and the N.I. team and will always refuse to back the (Northern) boys in green because of their own diehard Nationalist convictions. They’re the mirror image of those saddo staunch Unionists who can’t bear to ever be described as Irish even though they were born in Ireland…these embittered characters can always find endless justification for their position and listening to them prattling on about it is a soul-suckingly depressing experience so I’m past caring what they think or say. However, as mentioned by Chekhov, the anthem issue is the proverbial elephant in the room that true N.I. fans have to confront. Imagine some huge, must-win game where the players are trying to summon the fiercest team-spirit imaginable. Other teams can stand proudly with their arms round each others’ shoulders and gulder out an anthem that they all identify with and that makes them immediately think of the place in which they were born…it makes them feel hugely motivated and passionate as they run out onto the field to do their supporters proud. The N. Ireland team, composed of Catholics and Protestants, are expected to all sing ‘God Save the Queen’. This situation is a total disgrace and it needs to be changed. Now.

  • “I checked my Irish passport and it doesn’t have “wannabe” on it anywhere. Should I send it back?”

    There are two Irish teams representing two Irish territories. Has this not penetrated your thick skull yet? The Republic of Ireland team does not represent all of those holding an Irish passport. You would not be eligible to play for the ROI if you were a footballer with sufficient talent. You want to be eligible but you are not. Clear enough isn’t it?

    “NI has done a lot of good work recently, but November 1993 – “Trick or Treat” basically killed any chance of me ever supporting them. Label that unforgivable if you want. I know others for whom it was the Neil Lennon affair. There is certainly a hardcore of sectarian NI fans that were tolerated within the grounds for many, many years.”

    Both these incidents have been done to death. The spurious claims made about Lennon or the match in 1993 (which I attended as a schoolboy and remember most clearly for West Belfast Catholic Jimmy Quinn’s superb volley, a disgraceful decision leading to the ROI goal when the present NI manager was wrongly adjudged to have committed a foul, and the song that dominated the night being “There’s only one team in IRELAND”) are merely convenient ciphers. Why claim that there was a chance that you might support them when you’ve stated elsewhere that Northern Ireland can never and has never represented your identity and you have refused to acknowledge that an Irish identity can be expressed within the context of a Northern Ireland team? It seems to me the only reason you do that is to strengthen your attempt to indict Northern Ireland fans for bigotry. Therefore your comments should be treated with at best deep scepticism and at worst can be viewed as blatant dishonesty.

    “I don’t believe I stated that it was a human right anywhere. Willow’s argument, and yours apparently, boil down to “FIFA’s makes the rules so whatever they say is right”, which is both circular and absurd.”

    You have constantly evoked notions about “rights” including this fabled “right to play for your country”. The argument doesn’t at all boil down to “FIFA makes the rules so whatever they say is right”, the argument is that being legally entitled to hold a passport is not sufficient in international football to make you eligible to play for a particular country. If it has been pointed out that you attempt to circumscribe FIFA’s remit by evoking inappropriate and irrelevant legislation and comparisons that is because your argument is inappropriate and irrelevant. Of course part of the rejoinder to that argument will naturally be “FIFA are not bound by these things”. It would be completely remiss not to point this out.

    “Have they been given it? Could someone point me to the actual ruling from FIFA? Realist has suggested the block on selecting someone for the U-23 side is evidence, but as things will not be done retroactively, it makes sense not to create more retroactive cases.”

    Substantively the decision is in effect. FIFA are not bound to issue an exact ruling because the substance of the decision is that the body’s statutes are to apply in this case. That this even had to be clarified is down to the bad faith of the FAI.

  • Wow. Nice post from Billy there. A mixture of “I’m substantially richer than yeeeoooouuuu” and “do you know who I am?”. Persuasive stuff.

  • Realist

    Billy,

    That’s a pretty impressive CV – you’re obviously a very intelligent chap.

    Would there be any chance you could reply to my post of 10.19AM please?

    Cheers.

  • darth rumsfeld

    fair dos billy. I did give you a bit of a touch. But you still can’t resist overreacting. And that’s not actually very professional.

    I’m glad to learn “yow are considerably richer than me”, and thus your opinions are more valid, though perhaps the jetset life has rather distanced you from the oppressed nationalist people of Twinbrook and Lenadoon, and you have a rosy view of their grim lives and adamantly outraged mindsets, living as you do in Australia.

    The only insider knowledge I have of nationalist opinion is of the few colleagues and acquaintances I have daily contact with- I don’t claim to be imbued with the values of every nationalist or to speak for them- you apparently can. I couldn’t presume to speak for every Unionist. But I trust my friends to be honest and they haven’t told me of foaming at the mouth in the chapels and GAA clubs of Northern Ireland over this issue.

    Naturally lawyers give informal advice all the time- and it’s always general and usually coupled with the advice to see someone formally.Just like doctors at parties will say “Go and see your own GP”- cover your ass, the first principle of professionals.

    The redhot financial/commercial Aussie lawyers you know may well be much brighter than legal aid petty sessions lawyers but they wouldn’t last 5 minutes in that world- because they have a certain experise. And I’m just going to bet your mates don’t have any expertise in sporting law or UK/RoI constitutional law. If I’m wrong I’ll just have to live with the shame.

    Someone must have done a doctorate on why its always the emigrants who feel they have to set the standards for nationalism, and that they know better than the poor bloody inhabitants of the country who just want to get on living together.

  • IrishInSydney

    Just to let you all know – this story has had absa-fucking-lutely zero coverage in the Antipodes. So obviously all the lawyers down here are able to give an utterly informed opinion. Particularly considering ‘soccer’ is such a well-known sport, particularly the nuances of FIFA.

    And by the way, salaries in investment banking here (and any other professions) would just about cover the bar tab at the Counting House in the City of London.

  • Billy

    Realist

    I saw references to this on web sites (I think there may have been a few comments from fans at the game on OWC). I’ll check it when I get a chance and let you know.

    I have never claimed that the Neil Lennon threat came from an NI fan. However, I think that the treatment given out to Celtic players (Neil Lennon and particularly Anton Rogan) from their OWN fans clearly illustrated the attitude of quite a few NI fans to Celtic players.

    Personally I find that disgusting – when I have been to see the RoI or England, it has been with a group of friends who support different clubs. However, when they support their country, club allegiances are forgotten. This is as it should be.

    Compare this to the tremedous reception that John McClelland of Rangers got. I have nothing against him but a section of the “fans” made sure that the Celtic players understood who was one of their boys and who wasn’t.

    Neil lennon was still being booed (admittedly by a small number of NI “fans” according to my information)in the matches immediately preceding the death threat.

    The media clearly inferred a link between the death threat and NI support. I don’t necessarily agree with that but I think any rational person would admit that NI support were, to an extent, hoisted by the own petard, because of their previous scandalous treatment of Celtic players.

    I will be interested to see the reaction if and when NI have another player from Celtic – particularly if he’s a Catholic.

    I respect the good work that you and others have done with NI support and I accept that a lot of progress has been made.

    However, I honestly don’t believe that a Celtic player could hope to play for NI at Windsor without being singled out for abuse by some fans.

  • Northern Ireland do have a Celtic player in the full international squad Billy, goalkeeper Michael McGovern who is fully committed to the cause (unlike Rangers’ keeper Roy Carroll). I don’t suppose you’ve heard anything about him because there’s no question of him not receiving the full backing of the GAWA.

  • Billy

    Darth

    Fair point about the over reaction. I was a bit irritated by your poke at me. However, no harm done.

    You are correct that my colleagues are not experts in UK constitutional law or sporting law. I never claimed that – I simply gave them a layman’s view of the issue and, based on that, they gave me an informal opinion. I’m not claiming it’s definitive or legally binding – just a chat over a pint.

    I was really just pointing out that they are not “ambulance chasers” but highly qualified experts in their field.

    IrishinSydney

    I never claimed it had a lot of coverage in Australia/NZ. That’s why I had to give my collegues a brief breakdown and asked for their views.

    I don’t know about other industries but, in banking, if you are asked to take up a position abroad, then you negotiate your own deal. It’s influenced by factors such as area of expertise, how urgently you are required and how long you are willing to stay.

    It’s got nothing to do with the local salaries. Obviously, they wouldn’t send someone from another country if they could get someone locally who would be considerably cheaper.

    I take your point about the Counting House though. You need to take out a 2nd mortgage if you want to get drunk in there.

  • kensei

    “There are two Irish teams representing two Irish territories. Has this not penetrated your thick skull yet? The Republic of Ireland team does not represent all of those holding an Irish passport. You would not be eligible to play for the ROI if you were a footballer with sufficient talent. You want to be eligible but you are not. Clear enough isn’t it?”

    Has FIFA ruled yet?

    There may be two teams, but the Republic of Ireland represents all Republic of Ireland citizens. Now you might go on like a pedant about them representing the FAI, but in real terms when they play they represent the country, the same as England represents England. I am a citizen of that country. They represent me, even if I can’t represent them. Northern Ireland doesn’t and can’t represent me.

    So without he wannabe comment, and this comment, you at least aren’t running through willow’s pretence.

    “Both these incidents have been done to death. The spurious claims made about Lennon or the match in 1993 (which I attended as a schoolboy and remember most clearly for West Belfast Catholic Jimmy Quinn’s superb volley, a disgraceful decision leading to the ROI goal when the present NI manager was wrongly adjudged to have committed a foul, and the song that dominated the night being “There’s only one team in IRELAND”) are merely convenient ciphers.”

    So you deny it happened, or that it was significant?

    “Why claim that there was a chance that you might support them when you’ve stated elsewhere that Northern Ireland can never and has never represented your identity and you have refused to acknowledge that an Irish identity can be expressed within the context of a Northern Ireland team?”

    It can represent an Irish identity, but it cannot represent MY Irish identity. Or that of a great deal of nationalists.

    I have also stated that it isn’t impossible fior NI to get my support in a “support both” sense, though obviously the Republic would still come first.

    “It seems to me the only reason you do that is to strengthen your attempt to indict Northern Ireland fans for bigotry.”

    Many Northern Ireland fans have indicted themselves for bigotry many times. They don’t need any help for me.

    Denying your problems just means you won’t solve them.

    “Therefore your comments should be treated with at best deep scepticism and at worst can be viewed as blatant dishonesty.”

    What have I lied about?

    That NI fans chanted “Trick or Treat” in November 1993 in reference to loyalist killings?
    That they treated Neil Lennon disgracefully?
    That people are effected by those things?

    “You have constantly evoked notions about “rights” including this fabled “right to play for your country”. The argument doesn’t at all boil down to “FIFA makes the rules so whatever they say is right”, the argument is that being legally entitled to hold a passport is not sufficient in international football to make you eligible to play for a particular country.”

    The add-ons are to prevent the abuse of naturalisation rules. They were not meant to cover us – hence the debate, and, unless someone can point it out to me, no ruling. FIFA exists to facilitate international competition, not to define nationality.

    “If it has been pointed out that you attempt to circumscribe FIFA’s remit by evoking inappropriate and irrelevant legislation and comparisons that is because your argument is inappropriate and irrelevant. Of course part of the rejoinder to that argument will naturally be “FIFA are not bound by these things”. It would be completely remiss not to point this out.”

    I’m not so sure that FIFA aren’t bound by them. As has been pointed out, any denial could be subject to challenge. I don’t know if that would be successful, but it is clearly relevant.

    Otherwise your position is – the only thing that is relevant is what FIFA says matters. Which leads to absurd possibilities, like FIFA only allowing French people to play for German, which boils to FIFA says it so it must be right.

    “Substantively the decision is in effect. FIFA are not bound to issue an exact ruling because the substance of the decision is that the body’s statutes are to apply in this case. That this even had to be clarified is down to the bad faith of the FAI.”

    George has contacted FIFA who stated they have not ruled. The IFA have stated they have not ruled and reports in the media were premature. The question is which statutes apply. How exactly do you come to this conclusion?

    Perhaps FIFA needs contacted again.

  • nuttal

    In my experience lawyers, even the better ones, have poor knowledge outside of there own field.

    Corporate lawyers, for instance, will have little knowledge of criminal procedures & laws beyond that picked up as basics during their undergrad studies, and possibly their institute studies.

  • IrishInSydney

    Jaysus Billy – its the best time of the year to be enjoying life in Sydney and you spend it talking to lawyers about an obscure point-of-order in some bizarre northen hemisphere pastime. I’m sure they were delighted to have a drink with you!

    ‘Hey lads, fancy a schooner of Carlton Draught – I’m buying, by the way, got something to ask ye’.

    ‘Sure, Billy, fire away. What is it – will Rudd topple Howard? Our tips for the Melbourne Cup? Who’s gonna win Australian Idol?’

    ‘Actually, there’s this thing called the GFA, and according to FIFA statute 27, paragraph 14B, it means these lads from Northern Ireland, who want to play for Ireland, but can’t play for Ireland because they were born in Northern Ireland – ya know – is it legal?’

    ‘Errr, is that the time? We really must be going..’

    Asking a commercial lawyer in Australia about the legalities of FIFA regulations on eligibility in relation to the UK/Ireland GFA is like asking a plumber to wire your house, or an electrician to unblock your toilet.

  • IrishInSydney

    Just for the record, I agree with the statement ‘There may be two teams, but the Republic of Ireland represents all Republic of Ireland citizens.’ and I do not believe it is cut-and-dry, even after FIFA makes its decision.

    Still, I think the IFA are perfectly entitled to seek clarification from FIFA and if they want to ensure that the Northern Ireland football team continues to be represented by both main communities in the Province, as has happened since I’ve been watching football (30 years now) then good luck to them.

    Having downed a not inconsiderable amount of finest Australian shiraz tonight, I’m away to sleep it off. Good night one-and-all and I hope this seemingly interminable debate is put out of its misery some time soon.

    Sláinte…

  • IrishInSydney

    One last thing…

    Billy
    ‘Personally I find that disgusting – when I have been to see the RoI or England, it has been with a group of friends who support different clubs. However, when they support their country, club allegiances are forgotten. This is as it should be.’

    Tell that to the wonderful ROI fans who booed Barry Ferguson, Neil McCann and Billy Dodds, all Rangers players at the time they played for Scotland, Tore Andre Flo (with Norway) and Peter Lovenkrands (Denmark). But sure these are the great ROI fans who get on well with everybody..

  • darth rumsfeld

    …not forgetting Shoto Arveladze of Georgia, Irish

  • IrishInSydney

    Of course. It must have been that virulent and intense sporting rivalry between Georgia and Ireland that caused Georgian players to be booed – whaddya reckon Billy?

    (Right, that’s it, really must be going – its half eleven here and I’ve got to get up early as I have a meeting with my solictor to discuss Uruguayan property law)

  • Bad example of demonstrating of Gov. interference in FIFA matters.

    Point taken Janeymac, nevertheless the scenario of the Republic’s government directly getting involved in this matter would not be appreciated, I’m sure, by FIFA and may contravene certain of its rules (for example re the settling of disputes within FIFA and possibly also Article 2e).
    It would be a bad shortsighted move by both FAI and Ahern.

  • “There may be two teams, but the Republic of Ireland represents all Republic of Ireland citizens. Now you might go on like a pedant about them representing the FAI, but in real terms when they play they represent the country, the same as England represents England. I am a citizen of that country. They represent me, even if I can’t represent them. Northern Ireland doesn’t and can’t represent me.”

    The fact that you deem the point pedantic is neither here nor there. The fact is that the Southern team is representing the Southern body. “Real terms” merely translates as “in your opinion”. You feel like the Republic side represents you and that is your right, but it carries no weight in arguments about eligibility. Several hundred thousand Russians in Latvia believe that the Russia side represent them, but if they have no parent or grandparent from that country they are not eligible to represent them.

    “So you deny it happened, or that it was significant?”

    I don’t deny that certain things happened.

    “It can represent an Irish identity, but it cannot represent MY Irish identity. Or that of a great deal of nationalists.”

    There was therefore no chance that you would support NI then, given your identity fetishism. And therefore:

    “I have also stated that it isn’t impossible fior NI to get my support in a “support both” sense, though obviously the Republic would still come first.”

    Is effectively a lie designed to imply that the horrendous sectarian ogres in the NI support prevent you from demonstrating your support.

    “Many Northern Ireland fans have indicted themselves for bigotry many times. They don’t need any help for me.”

    A small number on an ever dwindling number of occasions. You’ll find that in a society where there are bigotries, that these bigotries will manifest themselves in different areas of that society. Perhaps it’s necessary for me to look out some youtube links and point this out in relation to the ROI’s support?

    “Denying your problems just means you won’t solve them.”

    You’ve already acknowledged the strides made to combat sectarianism by both the IFA and supporters’ themselves, so by your own formulation denial isn’t a problem. NI supporters not only identified problems but made huge strides to solve them and these efforts are ongoing.

    “What have I lied about? “

    You have been dishonest implying that is Northern Ireland supporters’ bigotry that inclines you not to support the team. It is a political hatred of the Northern Ireland state that inclines you not to support the team and a ethno-nationalist understanding of identity that means you cannot separate identity from the idea of nationality.

    “That NI fans chanted “Trick or Treat” in November 1993 in reference to loyalist killings?”

    I can’t recall this happening so I’ll have to defer to other Northern Ireland fans on this point.

    “That they treated Neil Lennon disgracefully?”

    If “they” is the Northern Ireland support in its entirety (or at least a majority), “They” certainly didn’t treat Neil Lennon disgracefully. “They” overwhelmingly gave the player outstanding support, as he himself acknowledges. Unlike you, I will not impugn a large number of people for the behaviour of a handful of hangers on.

    “That people are effected by those things?”

    I think people may have been “effected by those things” to an extent and particularly at the time. I also think a whole mythology has developed around a number of incidents, the purpose of which is to justify hatred for the Northern Ireland team and to rationalise support for the Republic, whereas in actuality the move to ROI support from the nationalist community was down to a much simpler reason – the relative success of that team.

    “The add-ons are to prevent the abuse of naturalisation rules. They were not meant to cover us. FIFA exists to facilitate international competition, not to define nationality.”

    FIFA is not seeking to define nationality. FIFA is seeking to provide rules as to the eligibility of players for international competition. You are seeking once again to impugn motives without evidence. The rules are the rules no matter what motivation you attribute to them. What they actually establish is that a passport is not enough to prove eligibility and with passports increasingly acquired willy-nilly it is an excellent thing that FIFA is taking this approach.

  • “I’m not so sure that FIFA aren’t bound by them. As has been pointed out, any denial could be subject to challenge. I don’t know if that would be successful, but it is clearly relevant. “

    That is your contention. It has been rebutted. Well. Those rebuttals do not amount to an argument that “FIFA is right, accept it”. They amount to the opinion that the basis for your contention is flawed. The contention is that you are framing the debate in irrelevant terms and that contention is an extremely strong one given the evidence and rational argument Willowfield has produced.

    “Which leads to absurd possibilities, like FIFA only allowing French people to play for German, which boils to FIFA says it so it must be right.”

    And if those things happened I would expect people to argue that FIFA were wrong, but that wouldn’t lessen the fact that they were talking crap if they suggested the reason that they were wrong was because FIFA were bound by the Good Friday Agreement / some UN resolution / Magna Carta / Helsinki Convention etc.

    The decision is having effects already which means it has been substantively implemented. Whether this is in the short-term remains to be seen.

  • Dec

    Tell that to the wonderful ROI fans who booed Barry Ferguson, Neil McCann and Billy Dodds, all Rangers players at the time they played for Scotland, Tore Andre Flo (with Norway) and Peter Lovenkrands (Denmark). But sure these are the great ROI fans who get on well with everybody..

    …not forgetting Shoto Arveladze of Georgia, Irish

    Posted by darth rumsfeld on Nov 01, 2007 @ 01:22 PM

    Oh dear, yet another case where somebody appears unable to see a subtle difference between fans booing an opposing player (cf: every football match ever played) and when fans boo their own player.

    I had really thought all but the most intellectually-challenged could make that distinction now e.g.:

  • “The contention is that you are framing the debate in irrelevant terms and that contention is an extremely strong one given the evidence and rational argument Willowfield has produced.”

    For contention read opinion.

  • mh87

    Can someone please tell me whats taking fifa so long did the IFA not say they had been told a descision would come by the end of october maybe its now as clear cut as the NI fans think it is

  • Dec

    Can someone please tell me whats taking fifa so long did the IFA not say they had been told a descision would come by the end of october maybe its now as clear cut as the NI fans think it is

    They’re too busy laughing at Chekov’s attempts at rewriting their qualification criteria:

    ‘Like, FIFA can do what they wants…and like anybody who tries to argue that under International Law it is the right of each state to determine who its nationals are and not a footballing organisation are knobs and is talking out of their hole…like…’

  • Democratic

    Hi Dec,
    Your point about the some of the NI support booing their own is fair – and as always a penalty kick that I expect to be used until the turn of the next century – no defence there.
    However trying to soften the impact of the ROI support booing players from other national teams in a sectarian manner because of Rangers connections (if this did/does indeed happen) is a little underhanded and really should be flagged up I think – let’s be honest – does it really matter if sectarian abuse is directed at players on your own team or another’s – I personally think not – self defeating maybe – but no less wrong.

  • willowfield

    KENSEI

    Southern Ireland stopped existing in 1922.

    No: its official name changed in 1922. It still exists!

    “So why did you say your Irishness was “exclusive”?” — It is exclusive of “Britishness”, “Frenchness”, “Japenseness” or “Chineseness”. Start tacking things on, and you no longer describe me.

    If so, then you “separate yourself” from Irishmen and women who have non-exclusive identities.

    I am both part of the nation and a citizen of the nation state. Both are important and both relate to each other.

    But you accept now that it is states, and not “nations”, that grant citizenship. Good.

    I’m afraid they are. Or my other choice, in my alternative life where I am the new Pele, is to not play international football. That is a dictator’s choice.

    Should Pele have been able to opt for Uruguay? Was it a “dictator’s choice” that he was only eligible for Brazil?

    Billy

    I’m not a liar and I’m certainly not stupid – you are top of the class on both counts.

    But you are on record as a liar, Billy. You lied about NI fans, about the IFA, and about me. Remember? Remember you ran away when confronted with your lies?

    Incidentally, Billy, have you had time to ask your legal-eagle friends what law binds FIFA to treat Southern citizens from the North the same as Southern citizens from the South? Or on what grounds and to what court a FIFA decision could be challenged legally?

  • nuttal

    Dec,

    I’m not sure where you’re getting that quote from. I don;t think anyone here has said that states don’t have the right to determine who its nationals are.

    FIFA did not, and could not, stop Qatar from issuing passports to brazilians. What they did do was formulate and apply residency rules to stop abuses of eligibility criteria.

    Is there any international law that can stop Qatar dishing out passports? No

    Can FIFA say that to play their game, possession of a passport alone is not sufficient criteria? Yes

    What is so difficult about this to understand?

  • Mike

    Billy,

    Do you realise that you come across as someone who will clutch at any straws to attack the NI support?

    I’m prepared to read and consider the posts of any contributor, but I tend to filter out at this stage those who are blinded by bitterness, or on the wind-up.

    And to be honest, months of experience have shown me (and correct me if there’s more than one ‘Billy’ having been on the go, but many of your comments on this particular thread would seem to back up my general conclusion) is that on the subject of NI football, especially the NI team and support, posts with ‘Billy’ at the bottom will contain a bitter diatribe laced with half-baked and/or tenuous anti-NI accusations.

    See for example your ‘UDA/UVF’ reference on the last page.

  • Dec

    Democratic

    I think describing the booing of Arveladze as sectarian is overstating it a bit. It was everything to do with his club and not his religion, whatever that may be. Perhaps ROI fans lack of fondness to rangers is down to that clubs long-standing sectarian selection policy?

    Glad you appreciate the distinction I mentioned though.

    Nuttal

    What is so difficult about this to understand?

    I assume that question is directed at yourself? For you appear to misunderstand the essentional point that the IFA is attempting to shoehorn the Qatar issue onto our unique circumstances and is (for the umpteenth time) making the case that, using the central case as an example, Darron Gibson either changed or acquired a new nationality in order to play for the Republic. It has nothing to do with passports.

  • Democratic

    Not really good enough Dec I’m afraid –
    Heard that one from Celtic supporters before – basically amounts to – “Themuns boo and jeer and call us feinan b@stards because THEY are bigots” to which the reply comes – but surely youse do the same back…. “Not so – we boo and jeer and call themuns orange b@stards because THEY are bigots”
    You really can’t help but just smile at such a mentality…..that’s if it wasn’t so serious of course….

  • kensei

    “The fact that you deem the point pedantic is neither here nor there…”

    No “real terms” does not mean “in my opinion”. Ask the players who they are representing, of any international side, and they will tell you they are representing the country – not the association. That why players will talk with pride about representing their country, and why it is such a big thing.

    “I don’t deny that certain things happened.”

    Then perhaps best not to make yourself look like you are defending it, or trying to play down their significance.

    “There was therefore no chance that you would support NI then, given your identity fetishism. And therefore:”

    There is no chance I would support NI exclusively or first. Let’s be accurate.

    “Is effectively a lie designed to imply that the horrendous sectarian ogres in the NI support prevent you from demonstrating your support.”

    Nope, the horrendous ogres, the flag, the anthem and my are stopping me from giving any support. If they were gone, you might make some headway on a support both approach.

    “A small number on an ever dwindling number of occasions. You’ll find that in a society where there are bigotries, that these bigotries will manifest themselves in different areas of that society. Perhaps it’s necessary for me to look out some youtube links and point this out in relation to the ROI’s support?”

    The problem though, is that NI’s isn’t just on youtube, but also the BBC archives. Historically, it’s an order of magnitude greater.

    But they’ve done a lot of good work. I am waiting to see what happens when you have another nightmare campaign before being totally convinced, but as I said, I’d moved to apathy rather than wanting to see them beat for the bigots.

    “You’ve already acknowledged the strides made to combat sectarianism by both the IFA and supporters’ themselves, so by your own formulation denial isn’t a problem. NI supporters not only identified problems but made huge strides to solve them and these efforts are ongoing.”

    IFA denial is no longer a problems. You seem to have one though, or at least the wish to downplay the seriousness of the incidents.

    “You have been dishonest implying that is Northern Ireland supporters’ bigotry that inclines you not to support the team. It is a political hatred of the Northern Ireland state that inclines you not to support the team and a ethno-nationalist understanding of identity that means you cannot separate identity from the idea of nationality.”

    Of course, civic nationalism ties identity to the state too. I have not been dishonest. It is one of the factors. If it was removed along with the flag and anthem I would not suddenly love NI. But I’d have more time, and more sympathy. They’d never replace the Republic, but I might have them as a second team if they did a good enough job in creating a better atmosphere. Why does that strike you as false?

    “I can’t recall this happening so I’ll have to defer to other Northern Ireland fans on this point.”

    It was widely reported.

    “If “they” is the Northern Ireland support in its entirety (or at least a majority), “They” certainly didn’t treat Neil Lennon disgracefully. “They” overwhelmingly gave the player outstanding support, as he himself acknowledges. Unlike you, I will not impugn a large number of people for the behaviour of a handful of hangers on.”

    It was more than a small number of hangers on. He was booed by a sizeable proportion of the crowd.

    “I think people may have been “effected by those things” to an extent and particularly at the time. I also think a whole mythology has developed around a number of incidents, the purpose of which is to justify hatred for the Northern Ireland team and to rationalise support for the Republic, whereas in actuality the move to ROI support from the nationalist community was down to a much simpler reason – the relative success of that team.”

    Nope. Success helped in putting the Republic football team into people’s conciousness, certainly, but there’s much more to it than that. Northern Nationalism has become more muscular over the past 20 years.

    I have no need to rationalise my support for the
    republic – I’m a citizen of the country. You have much more need to “rationalise” those incidents than me.
    “FIFA is not seeking to define nationality. FIFA is seeking to provide rules as to the eligibility of players for international competition. You are seeking once again to impugn motives without evidence. The rules are the rules no matter what motivation you attribute to them. What they actually establish is that a passport is not enough to prove eligibility and with passports increasingly acquired willy-nilly it is an excellent thing that FIFA is taking this approach. ”

    So – FIFA says so, so they are right. Glad we cleared it up.

  • willowfield

    Dec

    The IFA isn’t arguing that Gisbon changed or acquired a new nationality. It’s arguing that he shouldn’t be eligible for the South on citizenship alone because he has no connections with the South. (You’ve already been told this.) No-one’s saying he’s not a Southern citizen or hasn’t always been.

    And, besides, you’re trying to claim that FIFA is trying to determine who a state’s nationals are; or that a FIFA ruling might somehow mean that Gibson et al cease to be Southern nationals (!). It’s not. Its ruling will only be about football eligibility!

    PS. I assume you also say that Lennon was also booed because of his club and not his religion – right?

  • Realist

    Billy,

    “I saw references to this on web sites (I think there may have been a few comments from fans at the game on OWC). I’ll check it when I get a chance and let you know”

    Please do – although I believe fans’ comments on websites have been deemed as unacceptable evidence to back such matter up – by your comrade, Kensei, in previous discussions.

    I look forward to seeing the “media reports”.

    “However, I think that the treatment given out to Celtic players (Neil Lennon and particularly Anton Rogan) from their OWN fans clearly illustrated the attitude of quite a few NI fans to Celtic players”

    Indeed.

    “Personally I find that disgusting”

    Me too.

    “when I have been to see the RoI or England, it has been with a group of friends who support different clubs. However, when they support their country, club allegiances are forgotten. This is as it should be”

    It is as it should be.

    Unfortunately inter club rivalries can emerge.

    Manchester United players playing for England have been booed by England fans.

    Liverpool players playing for England have been booed by Manchester United fans.

    Frank Lampard was most recently booed by England fans.

    “Neil lennon was still being booed (admittedly by a small number of NI “fans” according to my information)in the matches immediately preceding the death threat.”

    What is your “information”?

    Mine comes from attending Northern Ireland matches – at home and abroad.

    This was reported after the Norway game.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2001/03/01/sfnnir02.xml

    Neil Lennon played against the Czech Republic – much to his credit.

    Note Neil Lennon’s comments after the game.

    http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/internationals/article249454.ece

    Fans’ websites, your “information” etc – seems somewhat fragile, for one so intellectual.

    Please try and back up your assertions with a little better than your “information”.

  • kensei

    “No: its official name changed in 1922. It still exists!”

    No, it doesn’t. The current state is the Republic of Ireland. the Constitution simply refers to Ireland.

    “If so, then you “separate yourself” from Irishmen and women who have non-exclusive identities.”

    Oaks and Pines are still trees.

    “But you accept now that it is states, and not “nations”, that grant citizenship. Good.”

    I don’t believe I denied that anywhere.

    “Should Pele have been able to opt for Uruguay? Was it a “dictator’s choice” that he was only eligible for Brazil? ”

    Was Pele Uruguayan? I don’t know enough about him.

  • Mike

    Dec –

    “…using the central case as an example, Darron Gibson either changed or acquired a new nationality in order to play for the Republic.”

    Whether it’s central to this issue or not, the fact is Gibson did change ‘footballing’ nationality. From Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

    Like Brian McClean, who (unsuccessfully thanks to an IFA cock-up) tried to change his footballing nationality from Scotland to Northern Ireland. When all along his ‘actual’ nationality was as a British citizen.

  • kensei

    “Like Brian McClean, who (unsuccessfully thanks to an IFA cock-up) tried to change his footballing nationality from Scotland to Northern Ireland. When all along his ‘actual’ nationality was as a British citizen.”

    So – if Gibson never played for the IFA, then this wouldn’t be an issue?

  • Dec

    Whether it’s central to this issue or not, the fact is Gibson did change ‘footballing’ nationality. From Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

    Frankly, it’s irrelevant.

    Like Brian McClean, who (unsuccessfully thanks to an IFA cock-up) tried to change his footballing nationality from Scotland to Northern Ireland.

    Surely that should read:

    When the IFA tried to poach Brian McLean from Scotland.

  • Mike

    Kensei –

    “It was more than a small number of hangers on. He was booed by a sizeable proportion of the crowd.”

    It was arounnd 150-200 people in a crowd of 7000. At one match.

    The next match, there was no booing of Lennon. Only cheering and applause.

    See Realist’s links above.

  • Mike

    Dec –

    “Frankly, it’s irrelevant.”

    Hardly irrelevant. As I see it, tehre are two ‘general’ issues at stake:

    1 – the wider issue of whether a RoI citizen from NI is eligible to play for the RoI without having been born there, resided there for at least 2 years, or had a parent or grandparent born there.

    2 – within this the more specific issue of what rules apply when a player wants to change teams to the Republic of Ireland, having previously represented Northern Ireland – a la Darron Gibson.

    “Surely that should read:

    When the IFA tried to poach Brian McLean from Scotland.”

    Maybe. But the IFA didn’t go to a player who was in the Scotland youth system. He had played for Scotland at u-17 level but not been picked since then.

  • “No “real terms” does not mean “in my opinion” “

    They represent their country because they are selected by the association which governs football in that country. The remit of these associations is territorial.

    “Then perhaps best not to make yourself look like you are defending it, or trying to play down their significance.”

    I’m not defending anything. Nor do I seek to diminish any incident that may occur at a Northern Ireland match or amongst our supporters. in fact I am one of the first to highlight any incident I have objected to. That doesn’t mean that I accept every allegation thrown the way of NI supporters without question and nor does it mean that I will refrain from pointing out when the same people persistently cite incidents several years ago from small minorities of people to justify their prejudices.

    “Nope, the horrendous ogres, the flag, the anthem and my are stopping me from giving any support. If they were gone, you might make some headway on a support both approach.”

    Wow. Getting Kensei to support both Irish teams and stop characterising GAWA all as sectarian ogres! There’s a goal well worth aiming for. As I have acknowledged, the anthem is a problem. I would gladly see it go tomorrow. The anthem is exaggerated as a disincentive for nationalists though. It forms a very small part of an international night. Personally whilst I stand and respect it, I do not sing and it means nothing to me. Similarly when I’ve been to Lansdowne Road I stand and respect the Soldier’s Song. It’s not difficult and it takes a very small-minded person to let it spoil their enjoyment of a sporting occasion.

    “The problem though, is that NI’s isn’t just on youtube, but also the BBC archives. Historically, it’s an order of magnitude greater.”

    So the qualitative difference between bigotries is the extent to which they’re reported? What a strange notion!

  • Dec

    1 – the wider issue of whether a RoI citizen from NI is eligible to play for the RoI without having been born there, resided there for at least 2 years, or had a parent or grandparent born there.

    According to FIFA, those residency and parental clauses are only relevant if the player has changed or acquired a new nationality.

    within this the more specific issue of what rules apply when a player wants to change teams to the Republic of Ireland, having previously represented Northern Ireland – a la Darron Gibson.

    Ah, that would be FIFA Statute 15.

  • “But they’ve done a lot of good work. I am waiting to see what happens when you have another nightmare campaign before being totally convinced, but as I said, I’d moved to apathy rather than wanting to see them beat for the bigots.”

    The results of the good work were being seen long before the standard of football began to get better. That said, the impetus for Northern Ireland supporters to continue their work to create and ever better atmosphere free of any bigotry is not changing your opinions, it is because it is the right thing to do and because we want to do it.

    “IFA denial is no longer a problems. You seem to have one though, or at least the wish to downplay the seriousness of the incidents. “

    You wish to exaggerate the seriousness of the incidents and focus on them endlessly, to such a ridiculous extent that we constantly see indictments of the current Northern Ireland support based on a match 14 years ago.

    “Of course, civic nationalism ties identity to the state too. I have not been dishonest. It is one of the factors. If it was removed along with the flag and anthem I would not suddenly love NI. But I’d have more time, and more sympathy. They’d never replace the Republic, but I might have them as a second team if they did a good enough job in creating a better atmosphere. Why does that strike you as false?”

    You claimed that your support was lost in 1993. We never had your support because you conflate your notion of Irishness exclusively with the Republic of Ireland. Support is not the same as sympathy. If you are retracting your earlier assertion that your support was lost in 1993, then make this clear.

    “It was widely reported.“

    I await a Northern Ireland supporter’s perspective on this.

    “It was more than a small number of hangers on. He was booed by a sizeable proportion of the crowd.”

    I remember a conversation with a client who was a keen supporter of Glasgow Rangers on the day of the Norway game. He told me he was going to the match to boo Lennon, as were the rest of his Rangers’ supporters club (these were the days when tickets were readily available). Given the contrasting reception when Lennon played against the Czech Republic (Realist has provided the link) and given the loud chants of “one Neil Lennon” at the Norway game – it is clear a vast majority of regular Northern Ireland supporters were fully behind Lennon. The man himself never said any different.

    “Nope. Success helped in putting the Republic football team into people’s conciousness, certainly, but there’s much more to it than that. Northern Nationalism has become more muscular over the past 20 years.”

    It has become much more hardline and bigoted in other words. It has bought into the identity fetishism of SF. Not a debate I intend to get into here.

    “I have no need to rationalise my support for the
    republic – I’m a citizen of the country. You have much more need to “rationalise” those incidents
    than me.”

    None the less you are not eligible to play for the country you claim to support (although never by actually attending a match) whilst I am fully eligible to play for my team.

    “So – FIFA says so, so they are right. Glad we cleared it up.”

    That conclusion bears no relevance to the quote you are relating it to.

    Willowfield is as I have stated a man of infinite patience (and possibly time). I am not. So if you wish to have the last word Kensei (and let’s face it you will), by all means knock yourself out. If I don’t reply I’m not ceding anything. I’ve simply got bored.

  • janemac

    ONEILL

    “Point taken Janeymac, nevertheless the scenario of the Republic’s government directly getting involved in this matter would not be appreciated, I’m sure, by FIFA and may contravene certain of its rules (for example re the settling of disputes within FIFA and possibly also Article 2e).
    It would be a bad shortsighted move by both FAI and Ahern.”

    FIFA is subject to Swiss law (who probably have signed the UN Charter of Human Rights – I haven’t checked).

    Article 15. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    As far as I know, the Dept. of Foreign Affairs is highly regarded in diplomatic circles. I would say Ahern would be listening to his officials as to how to proceed.

    The arguement here is whether ROI Irish (born in NI) who as a ‘Right’ from birth holds a ROI version of nationality. I think FIFA would welcome help from the ROIs Dept of Foreign Affairs (as well as British Foreign Office) to help sort this out.

    FIFA are taking their time making this ruling. Personally I think if the ruling goes in favour of the IFA, it will be open to legal challenge (probably from NI nationalists rather than FAI/ROI Gov.) Since FIFA is bound by Swiss law, that is where the legal challenge will be made.

    So, don’t be worrying about Ahern/FAI getting themselves into trouble with FIFA!

  • I didn’t make it clear that the Rangers’ supporter and his mates had never been to a NI game and have not to my knowledge been since. That was the point. I didn’t argue with him too forcefully obviously because he was paying for our services, although I did make my objections clear.

  • willowfield

    Dec

    According to FIFA, those residency and parental clauses are only relevant if the player has changed or acquired a new nationality.

    Not so, Dec – as you’ve already been told – the criteria also apply to players “whose nationality entitles them to play for more than one country”.

    You should pay attention.

    janemac

    FIFA is subject to Swiss law (who probably have signed the UN Charter of Human Rights – I haven’t checked).

    Dear me, Jane. FIFA may domestically be subject to Swiss law, but that does not make it subject to the provisions of the UN Charter or any other international treaties. FIFA is a private company, not a member of the United Nations.

    Marks & Spencer plc is subject to UK law, but it is not subject to the UN Charter of Human Rights, which is a treaty between states!

    Article 15. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    Even if FIFA were subject to the Charter of Human Rights, any decision in the IFA’s favour would not be in breach of it, because it would not deprive anyone (arbitrarily or otherwise) of their right to nationality or to change nationality.

  • janemac

    Willow,

    Sorry, it does make FIFA subject to Swiss Law and if the Swiss Gov. are signatories to UN Charter of Human Rights, then FIFA are bound to them.

    If you read a bit more extensively about Article 15, ‘expressions’ of nationality are discussed. Being eligible to play football for your country is an expression of your identity. What FIFA have to decide is whether NI or ROI is their ‘country’. Not an easy task!

  • janemac

    Willow

    “According to FIFA, those residency and parental clauses are only relevant if the player has changed or acquired a new nationality.

    Not so, Dec – as you’ve already been told – the criteria also apply to players “whose nationality entitles them to play for more than one country”.

    You should pay attention.”

    But the IFA are on pretty thin ice I think if they claim that NI born players have no connection to the ROI!

  • Mike

    Dec –

    “According to FIFA, those residency and parental clauses are only relevant if the player has changed or acquired a new nationality.”

    They also apply if a player’s nationality allows him to represent more than one Association.

    I may be a British citizen, but were I to be an international class footballer (sadly not) I could not represent Scotland, England or Wales.

  • kensei

    Chekov, you know what, i’ll not reply without ceding anything.

    “It has become much more hardline and bigoted in other words. It has bought into the identity fetishism of SF. Not a debate I intend to get into here.”

    Just one point: being assertive does not imply bigotry. I am an Irish republican. And what?

  • kensei

    “They also apply if a player’s nationality allows him to represent more than one Association.”

    An Irish passport only qualifies you for the ROI. The Irish passport is perversely used as proof of UK citizenship for NI – if you didn’t have UK citizenship you would not qualify for NI.

  • willowfield

    Jane

    Sorry, it does make FIFA subject to Swiss Law and if the Swiss Gov. are signatories to UN Charter of Human Rights, then FIFA are bound to them.

    1. I agreed with you that FIFA is subject to Swiss Law.

    2. However, Switzerland being a signatory to the UN Charter is not the reason that FIFA is subject to Swiss law! FIFA is subject to Swiss law because its headquarters are located in Switzerland.

    3. The UN “Charter” of Human Rights, as you call it, is, in fact a “Declaration” of Human Rights: it is not a legally-binding treaty in the sense that the European Convention on Human Rights is. Rather, it is a statement of principles by which UN members are to be guided.

    If you read a bit more extensively about Article 15, ‘expressions’ of nationality are discussed. Being eligible to play football for your country is an expression of your identity.

    Really? The UN has decided that being eligible to play football is an “expression of nationality”, and that not allowing someone to do so is a breach of Article 15? I look forward to you providing some more information about this!

    But the IFA are on pretty thin ice I think if they claim that NI born players have no connection to the ROI!

    If the player was not born in the ROI, hasn’t lived there for 2 years, has no parent or no grandparent born there then, as far as FIFA’s established criteria are concerned, he has none of the necessary connections.

    Interestingly, according to you, FIFA is already in breach of the Declaration by not allowing Brazilian-born Qataris to play for Qatar, given that – according to you – they are depriving such people of their nationality or the right to change their nationality. I wonder why Qatar hasn’t brought this to floor of the UN General Assembly?!

    KENSEI

    The Irish [sic] passport is perversely used as proof of UK citizenship for NI.

    It’s not – it’s used as a means of identification.

  • janemac
    So, don’t be worrying about Ahern/FAI getting themselves into trouble with FIFA!
    I’ll try not to;)

    A quick google shows that FIFA have indeed been taken to court several times under Swiss law.

    But checking the Article 15 of the UN Charter on Human Rights you quoted:

    Article 15.
    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    I can’t see how FIFA could lose on this, they haven’t deprived anyone of their nationality.

    The other alternative would be, presumably, under Swiss Civil law and bearing in mind their own draconian nationality laws, I can’t see there being much joy down that road either.

  • Dec

    According to FIFA, those residency and parental clauses are only relevant if the player has changed or acquired a new nationality.

    Not so, Dec – as you’ve already been told – the criteria also apply to players “whose nationality entitles them to play for more than one country”.

    You should pay attention.

    Don’t make me laugh, you’ve told me nothing. And you’re getting your criteria mixed up.

    FIFA statute 15 deals with young players with dual-nationality being able to switch associations providing certain conditions are met: age, level of representation etc. Darron Gibson complied with these guidelines, Brian McLean did not.

    FIFA Circular 901 deals with players assuming new nationalities. It lays down additional qualifying criteria in such cases: residency, parental etc.

    There it is, laid out for you. I’ll not even mention the letter sent by FIFA’s Legal Department in October 2006 which informed both the IFA and the FAI that anyone born in the North could declare for either association. Whoops, I just did!

  • “Just one point: being assertive does not imply bigotry. I am an Irish republican. And what?”

    This isn’t the thread to discuss republican bigotry much less the history of atrocities it has been responsible for. However you’ll not need to look far to find my opinions on that subject and my disgust for the reverence they accord to their own divisive symbols whilst having only derision for the other community’s equivalents.

  • nuttal

    if FIFA has already sent a letter, and already ruled on it, then what are you getting so worked up about?

  • janemac

    Willow, a quick google gives me two options as to how FIFA are not above the law as you seem to think. They are not answerable to anyone:

    1. Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has jurisdiction over violations of public international law
    2. Court of Arbitration for Sport which has already dealt with FIFA business.

    As regards expressions of identity – would it be safe for Billy & Kensei to express their identity by bringing a Tricolour to a football game to support NI at Windsor Park?

    Brazilian born football players do not have any connection to Quatar. There is not a general ‘Right’ for all Brazalians to a Qatar passport, just the ones who can play football well. Completely different situation to Irish (NI resident) passport (ROI version) holders.

    “If the player was not born in the ROI, hasn’t lived there for 2 years, has no parent or no grandparent born there then, as far as FIFA’s established criteria are concerned, he has none of the necessary connections.”

    And FAI are awaiting a ruling that this is not necessary for NI born ROI passport holders!

  • Dec

    I can’t see how FIFA could lose on this, they haven’t deprived anyone of their nationality.

    First of all FIFA hasn’t done anything yet. Secondly, if they do rule against the FAI it will be under circular 901. Legally this means they are adopting the stance that Gibson changed his nationaility in order to become eligible for the FAI. Under international law (and FIFA Statutes,frankly) he did not. Simple, really.

  • willowfield

    Dec

    FIFA Circular 901 deals with players assuming new nationalities. It lays down additional qualifying criteria in such cases: residency, parental etc.

    I advised you to pay attention, Dec, but you’re not taking the advice. I already pointed out that Circular 901 isn’t relevant. I even provided you with a link to another circular using the same criteria which has nothing to do with people assuming new nationalities.

    It’s on page 7 of this thread, Dec – a message from me to you, posted at 3.08pm on 26th October.

    That’s your lesson for the day, Dec: pay attention, and stop banging on about circular 901.

    Jane

    1. Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has jurisdiction over violations of public international law

    Well, the UN Declaration, even if relevant (which it’s not), isn’t public international law – I already explained that it was merely a declaration of principles, not a binding treaty.

    2. Court of Arbitration for Sport which has already dealt with FIFA business.

    Would only be relevant if FIFA agreed that arbitration were necessary, in which case it would merely be determining whether FIFA statutes permit Northern-born Southern nationals to play for the South (i.e. the same issue FIFA is considering itself).

    As regards expressions of identity – would it be safe for Billy & Kensei to express their identity by bringing a Tricolour to a football game to support NI at Windsor Park?

    About as safe as someone bringing an English flag to support Scotland at Hampden Park or an English flag or NI flag to support ROI at Croke Park. Why do you ask?

    Brazilian born football players do not have any connection to Quatar.

    Nor do NI-born players without the specified connections to ROI!

    There is not a general ‘Right’ for all Brazalians to a Qatar passport, just the ones who can play football well. Completely different situation to Irish (NI resident) passport (ROI version) holders.

    But if your claims about the UN Declaration are correct, then any move by FIFA to restrict nationals playing for their country will be illegal. After all, according to you, not allowing someone to play for their country amounts to denying them citizenship – or the right to change citizenship.

    And FAI are awaiting a ruling that this is not necessary for NI born ROI passport holders!

    Yes, we know. And, as I’ve said many times, I think that is how they will rule.

  • Mike

    Dec:

    You’re still ignoring the FIFA rules dealing with those whose citizenship would entitle them to play for more than one association.

    This includes: British citizens (which on its own would qualify a player to represent England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks & Caicos Islands, or the British Virgin Islands); Danish citizens (Denmark, Faroe Islands, and perhaps in the not too distant future Greenland); American citizens (USA, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa); Dutch citizens (Netherlands, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles); French citizens (France, Tahiti, New Caledonia); Chinese citizens (China PR, Hong Kong, Macau), and possibly some others.

    There’s a very strong argument that, given that FIFA recognises Irish citizenship when it comes to playing for Northern Ireland, the above limitations also apply to that citizenship. I.e. Irish citizenship must be allied to birth, residence or brithplace of parent/grandparent in order to qualify for the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland. Those are the limitations that apply to British citizenship.

  • nuttal

    janemac,

    no, there is not currently a right for all Brazilians to have a Qatari passport, but Qatar reserves the right to grant this if they so choose.

    Countries reserve the right to bestow citizenship as they see fit. Can you say that ROI’s blanket granting of passports supercedes Qatar’s selective passport granting. Where is the technical difference?

    I don’t see it, and I feel that many ROI supporters are letting their emotions and their politics blind them to this.

    Who do you think gives ROI this power above and beyond Qatar? If Qatar were to grant passports to all brazilians as of birth, would it make a difference to your opinion. Where is the line? That to me is the crux of the problem. It is; where is the line?

    To me, the fairest and most consistent line currently applicable is to apply the birth/parent/grandparent/residency criteria universally; although, personally, I would prefer the parent/grandparent criteria dropped too.

  • kensei

    “There’s a very strong argument that, given that FIFA recognises Irish citizenship when it comes to playing for Northern Ireland, the above limitations also apply to that citizenship. I.e. Irish citizenship must be allied to birth, residence or brithplace of parent/grandparent in order to qualify for the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland. Those are the limitations that apply to British citizenship.”

    In which case, a beautiful two step by the IFA. Honestly, I applaud them for it. Get Nationalist parties to make a fuss over the use of a British passport for NI then pull this one. I never understood the argument at the time, and still don’t. NI is a British team. You’ll stand for GSTQ and the Union Jack. If you baulk at getting the passport, you may have some questions to ask yourself.

    In any case, I thought it wasn’t enough in itself – the criteria was British nationality and the Irish passport was really just a stand in for id purposes.

  • dewi

    Quite interesting the stuff in Welsh press about the pressure for UK team in London olympics – would be interested if the Unionists posting here would mind being consumed by an Empire team or would welcome it ?

  • janemac

    Willow
    “Court of Arbitration: Would only be relevant if FIFA agreed that arbitration were necessary, in which case it would merely be determining whether FIFA statutes permit Northern-born Southern nationals to play for the South (i.e. the same issue FIFA is considering itself).”

    I agree, what I want to point out is that FIFA has to be very sure that it is not leaving itself open to a legal challenge.

    “About as safe as someone bringing an English flag to support Scotland at Hampden Park or an English flag or NI flag to support ROI at Croke Park. Why do you ask?”

    So, I take it you would not think it would be a good idea to bring one. Though, I think you are wrong about Croke Park – I believe quiet a few Stormont banner flags had an outing to Croke Park this year and some photos of events are displayed on some website! Some comments as well to the effect that no one took any notice! By the way, I was at Bohs v. Sunderland soccer match this year and there was quiet a few England flags about and no one took any notice even though there was not a whole lot of fan segregation.

    “Brazilian born football players do not have any connection to Quatar.

    Nor do NI-born players without the specified connections to ROI!”

    Well, that is where we disagree. A right as of birth is what I believe, which is supported by an international treaty between the Govs. of Britain & Ireland. Do Quater & Brazil have some sort of a Treaty about their arrangement?

    But if your claims about the UN Declaration are correct, then any move by FIFA to restrict nationals playing for their country will be illegal. After all, according to you, not allowing someone to play for their country amounts to denying them citizenship – or the right to change citizenship.

    Not too sure what you are saying here, but I don’t think I claimed that they were changing citizenship, or denying citizenship.

    KENSEI
    Interesting thing is that FIFA refer to NI as a British Association in its documentation. Supports the point that Irish passports are just used for ID purposes.

  • Realist

    Hi kensei,

    “You’ll stand for GSTQ and the Union Jack”

    What’s the crack with the Union Jack bit?

    You do understand that the Union Flag is not flown in any official capacity for Northern Ireland games….even tho the Union Flag is the official flag of the United Kingdom Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

    I’m losing count of the amount of times you’ve been told that.

    PS. The move by the IFA to protect their interests, is very similar in many ways to actions by the FAI in 1950.

    Funny how what goes around comes around, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Realist

    “would be interested if the Unionists posting here would mind being consumed by an Empire team or would welcome it ?”

    Oppossed to it dewi.

    The IFA, in an about turn this week, have stated that they do not support the idea.

    Don’t suppose there’s a whole lot of support for it in Wales either? 🙂

  • dubey

    Going to the Spain game,Realist?

  • Realist

    “Going to the Spain game,Realist?”

    God willing, yes dubey.

    Looking forward to a winter week in the sun, with my family and friends.

    Why do you ask?

  • dubey

    Bit bored by the way the thread was going-call it light relief.-what’s the away allocation?

  • Realist

    “what’s the away allocation?”

    dubey,

    Standard 10% of capacity, as far as I know.

    3,000 +

    Should be plenty of GAWA WAGS in attendance for this one! That prospect is quiet scary on many levels 🙂

  • dubey

    GAWA WAGS? Scary indeed.
    Yeah, hope they won’t all be sitting in their Union Jack PJs drinking WKD.(SORRY, ONLY JOKING!)

    Be prepared for lots of pointless, irritating comments from them during the game-bit like the Beeb commentary in fact.

    Still by bringing them along, you’ll have worked up enough brownie points to get to the next few away games with Kate Hoey and the rest of the boys

  • Realist

    “Be prepared for lots of pointless, irritating comments from them during the game-bit like the Beeb commentary in fact”

    I know – I’m thinking of bringing my Union Jack earmuffs! (ONLY JOKING)

  • dubey

    I hope the WAGs aren’t using the game as a pretext to allow them to bring back copious amounts of cheap, illicit ciggies from the Canaries to pay for Christmas and all that. Her Majesty’s customs will have to be notified of the potent risk of wholesale duty evasion from these flights-as a loyal british citizen, I’m sure you would agree with the need to protect the coffers of our Exchequer, Realist.

  • Realist

    dubey,

    I think that’s why many are flying in and out Dublin….The GAWA’s favourite airport. 🙂

    Being a solid citizen tho, I will stick to my allowance.

  • IrishInSydney

    Dec
    ‘Oh dear, yet another case where somebody appears unable to see a subtle difference between fans booing an opposing player (cf: every football match ever played) and when fans boo their own player.

    I had really thought all but the most intellectually-challenged could make that distinction now’

    Actually Dec, my original posting was in response to Billy’s paragraph where he said that it was a disgrace that fans do not leave their club prejudices behind when supporting international teams. Booing your own players is madness and yes, ‘disgusting’, but as has been pointed out is not just the sole preserve of NI. Booing individual players from the opposition team, particularly if you are Irish and they play for Rangers, is certainly not a sign of club allegiances being forgotten. I was interested to know whether Billy found the booing of individual players (not the whole team) who play for the opposition purely on the basis of the club team they support, was also ‘disgusting’.

    So, try and keep up Dec – if you are going to question the intelligence of other posters, at least try and do so in a way which doesn’t make you out to be a moron with an inability to read between the most obvious of lines.

  • dubey

    Christ,
    The boring aussie’s back-just when me and you were getting the crack going, Realist.

  • kensei

    “You do understand that the Union Flag is not flown in any official capacity for Northern Ireland games….even tho the Union Flag is the official flag of the United Kingdom Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

    I’m losing count of the amount of times you’ve been told that. ”

    I get confused with the number in the ground. Is it the Stormont Flag? One is as bad as the other, really.

  • Mike

    kensei –

    “In which case, a beautiful two step by the IFA. Honestly, I applaud them for it. Get Nationalist parties to make a fuss over the use of a British passport for NI then pull this one. I never understood the argument at the time, and still don’t. NI is a British team. You’ll stand for GSTQ and the Union Jack. If you baulk at getting the passport, you may have some questions to ask yourself.”

    It would indeed have been playing a blinder on the part of the IFA if it was deliberate. However experience of the IFA hierarchy suggests they have nothing like the intelligence or the nous required.

    On the latter part of your paragraph, I think the NI team also has much to commend its recognition as an Irish team – the shirt, the badge, the fact it’s the successor to the Ireland team.

    On a point of order, the Union flag isn’t flown by the IFA for NI matches. Indeed for home games they actually take down the Union flag normally flown by the stadium’s owners (Linfield FC). There aren’t too many (some, admittedly) Union flags flown by NI fans. (despite what Jim Gibney claimed in yesterday’s Irish News).

    “In any case, I thought it wasn’t enough in itself – the criteria was British nationality and the Irish passport was really just a stand in for id purposes.”

    I’m not sure what the full implications of FIFA’s decision last year were – whether they were recognising Irish citizenship as well as British citizenship as a qualification to play for Northern Ireland, or as you say accepting Irish passports as identification from people who actually had to be British citizens to qualify (as almost everyone born in NI would automatically be in UK law).

    The odd thing is, given FIFA’s rule on nationalities that qualify a player to play for more than one country (like British, Danish, French or American nationality) we’re left with a situation in which –

    – if NI fans want to make an argument under this rule, they need to make a kind of ‘nationalist’ argument – that Northern Ireland is a place where dual nationality applies, i.e. both British and Irish nationality are “its” nationalities and therefore Irish nationality qualifies a player for either team on this island.

    – if RoI fans want to contest an argument made under this rule, they have to make a kind of ‘unionist’ argument – that RoI citizenship (i.e being an Irish national under law) is a phenomenon of the RoI; the nationality of NI is British, even if the RoI extends its citizenship. Irish citizenship does not show elibibility to play for NI, only the RoI; UK citizenship is necessary to qualify for NI.

  • kensei

    “On the latter part of your paragraph, I think the NI team also has much to commend its recognition as an Irish team – the shirt, the badge, the fact it’s the successor to the Ireland team.”

    The thing is, it and the support have spent so much of it’s history focussing on being British it lost almost all of that. The emergence of the Republic team through the 90’s merely put it in sharp relief. And it can’t pull at the heartstrings the same way the Republic can. It isn’t just the team – it’s the whole culture around the support that is much more in tune with Nationalism than NI can ever manage.

    Doesn’t make it impossible to pull in support to a greater or lessor extent – never underestimate the advantages of proximity, for a start- but it makes it much harder.

    “On a point of order, the Union flag isn’t flown by the IFA for NI matches. Indeed for home games they actually take down the Union flag normally flown by the stadium’s owners (Linfield FC). There aren’t too many (some, admittedly) Union flags flown by NI fans. (despite what Jim Gibney claimed in yesterday’s Irish News).”

    Is the Stormont Flag used instead? That would be as bad.

    “The odd thing is, given FIFA’s rule on nationalities that qualify a player to play for more than one country (like British, Danish, French or American nationality) we’re left with a situation in which –

    – if NI fans want to make an argument under this rule, they need to make a kind of ‘nationalist’ argument – that Northern Ireland is a place where dual nationality applies, i.e. both British and Irish nationality are “its” nationalities and therefore Irish nationality qualifies a player for either team on this island.

    – if RoI fans want to contest an argument made under this rule, they have to make a kind of ‘unionist’ argument – that RoI citizenship (i.e being an Irish national under law) is a phenomenon of the RoI; the nationality of NI is British, even if the RoI extends its citizenship. Irish citizenship does not show elibibility to play for NI, only the RoI; UK citizenship is necessary to qualify for NI. ”

    De facto, that may be true. I think in strict legal terms, though, the latter argument is right. As many Unionist posters never tire of pointing out, Northern Ireland is British. And in terms of the state, that is 100% true. As much as I would love it otherwise, the argument is effectively saying NI’s sovereignty is weakened compared to the rest of the UK.

    I still can’t get my head round the previous furore. It seemed to me to be panic in the IFA that they they might harm their image further with Nationalists (or Machiavellian brilliance), and base political opportunism on part of the Nationalist parties and the Irish Government – there seems to be no real thinking or intellectual basis behind it. It will be a real shame if that is the basis to prevent Nationalists playing for their first choice.