FIFA float idea

FIFA have an….unusual suggestion in the ongoing who can play for what team saga. The Newsletter don’t like it one bit (no link at 2:20). Neither do the blogging fans. As ever however, the most thoughtful and interesting comment comes from Beano, who suggests that the compromise would actually create two sectarianised Irish teams. Presumably he is also being making himself look “small minded” according to the the Irish News editorial this morning.

  • “Yes, but you DO want to prevent some players from playing for what they regard as their country. You DO want to tell them: “It’s Windsor or nothing”.”

    Yes. Just as I would want to prevent them playing for Cameroon if they were to decide that was their country. I do not want international football to descend into farce.

    “Trouble is, FIFA doesn’t agree with you. Frankly, I have no sympathy.”

    FIFA has made a mealy mouthed proposal, back-tracking from their original position in the face of political pressure. The issue has not yet been resolved to both Associations’ satisfaction and is therefore a live issue.

    “In fairness, the FAI are only leaving a door open for those who want to come in. What drives you crazy is that apparently there are those who DO want to go in.”

    No. They are actively touting for Northern players. International football is not further education. You do not apply and gain entrance because the door has been left open. They are recruiting players that have initially been part of the Northern Ireland youth set up. Or haven’t you noticed?

    “Yet strangely, some people aren’t wildly impressed by your little border. Indeed some people don’t even define their nationality in accordance with your cherished little border. I know it drives you crazy, but there it is. And worse, FIFA is happy to let those people who drive you crazy, make up their own minds.”

    No Northern Ireland supporter on this thread or any other has attempted to define anyone’s nationality. Not once. Ad infinitum it has been stressed that there are two Irish teams organised on a territorial basis and that neither has or should have a monopoly on Irish national identity. It is actually the counter argument which is attempting to limit nationality, to say it is the ROI and its institutions which carry the flame of Irish identity. Leave our Irish identity alone! We are the original Ireland team! Belfast is the original hotbed of Irish football!

    “But you cry: “NO!!!! WE must be the ones who make up their minds for them!!! It’s NOT FAIR!!!!””

    Nonsense. Utter nonsense. If you think international football eligibility should be about choice, well we may as well just forget it. We may as well simply take our ball home, because the entire concept would descend into farce. In fact if FIFA enforce this suggestion then it will hasten the descent of international football into farce. That’s been coming anyway. Club managers would certainly welcome international football being further undermined. That concerns me, because I am an international football fan. I wouldn’t expect it to concern you or any of the other nationalist ideologues on this thread because football isn’t really your thing. The political agenda is much more important.

    “I almost feel sorry for you!”

    Don’t. I will be at Windsor Park on Saturday cheering on my overachieving cross-community team. If the ROI are playing enjoy watching them on TV.

    “In fairness, most nationalists want there to be ONE Irish team only. It’s the GAWA lads who are most stridently opposed to such an idea. It is they who want Irish football segregated into north and south – yet they also think they are entitled to the loyalty of those northerners who are strongly against this north/south segregation in the first place!”

    The irony has been pointed out many times of course. It was the FAI which created the partition in Irish football. It was the FAI who objected to both Irish teams being picked on an all-island basis more recently. FIFA have a duty to protect the original association on this island and the situation it created by recognising the breakaway association.

  • michael

    Come on chekov step into the real world FIFA are not going to rule in favour of the IFA after this.Would it not be better to come to a deal with the FAI sush as if you play for NI under 18 or Under 21 then you will play for the NI senior side but up until then its up to you.

  • I’d be prepared to say: you can have an all-Ireland olympic team, if you keep your grubby hands off our players the rest of the time. Although I know not everyone agrees.

  • Dec

    Can we conclude from Dec‘s failure to respond on the issue of 901, etc., that he now understands that the 901 criteria apply to players “whose nationality entitles them to play for more than one country”?

    He’s just a bit embarrassed about being proved wrong?

    It would be more accurate to conclude I’ve moved on with my life. I’ve no wish to be embroiled in the same bottomless mud-hole as you.

  • willowfield

    I’ll take that as a yes, Dec.

    Your decision to “move on” just happened to coincide with being proved wrong!

  • kensei

    Chekov

    “No Northern Ireland supporter on this thread or any other has attempted to define anyone’s nationality. Not once. Ad infinitum it has been stressed that there are two Irish teams organised on a territorial basis and that neither has or should have a monopoly on Irish national identity. It is actually the counter argument which is attempting to limit nationality, to say it is the ROI and its institutions which carry the flame of Irish identity. Leave our Irish identity alone! We are the original Ireland team! Belfast is the original hotbed of Irish football!”

    No sale. You might well be British and Irish, but tack on the first bit and you lose me. Totally. And NI is very much a British Association.

    And no one is saying wholesale choice. We are simply saying we don’t need to live in Cork for two years to prove we have a connection with the Republic. We are born citizens. The fact you compare us with someone who wants to play for Cameroon is an insult in itself. When will you get it, Chekov? When?

    “In fact if FIFA enforce this suggestion then it will hasten the descent of international football into farce. That’s been coming anyway.”

    No it won’t, any more than 4 British teams will.

    “Club managers would certainly welcome international football being further undermined. That concerns me, because I am an international football fan. I wouldn’t expect it to concern you or any of the other nationalist ideologues on this thread because football isn’t really your thing. The political agenda is much more important.”

    As if they can be separated on this matter. But seeing as we are all Republic fans, we don’t want to see the player pool reduced. Which, er, is the exactly the same reason your giving. But of course, political consideration never come into NI fans heads.

    “The irony has been pointed out many times of course. It was the FAI which created the partition in Irish football. It was the FAI who objected to both Irish teams being picked on an all-island basis more recently. FIFA have a duty to protect the original association on this island and the situation it created by recognising the breakaway association.”

    Who started it is irrelevant when considering who is blocking it now. FIFA have no particular duty to the IFA other than ensuring the rules are enforced – which at the moment say the FAI are wthin their rights.

  • janeymac

    Willow
    “If someone was foolish enough to take the FAI to court for not picking a NI player, the FAI would have a rather straightforward defence: abiding by FIFA rules in respect of eligibility.

    In any case, equality laws in ROI only outlaw discrimination on grounds of: gender; marital status; family status; age; disability; race;
    sexual orientation; religious belief; and
    membership of the Traveller Community.”

    No one is foolish enough to think that the FAI has to PICK a NI player (by the way, you don’t own the players – slavery has been abolished). Being PICKED and being ELIGIBLE for selection are two completely different things. He should have the same opportunities as his fellow ROI team mates born in Republic.

    Gibson would have a Constitutional Right to be ELIGIBLE to play for his country to express his identity (fundamental Constitutional right), discrimination on race might also be considered as well as it would seem he is being discriminated against for being born in NI. Gibson has decided he is only Irish and should be ELIGIBLE to play for his country. The fact that the IFA is known as one of the four British Associations might give the game away to FIFA, don’t you think?

    Any thoughts on the bullying Gibson was subjected to by IFA when he was a 15 year old and willing to play for them? Should the Irish Gov. be taking action on behalf of one of its citizens (a minor) from this type of intimidation.

  • willowfield

    janeymac

    No one is foolish enough to think that the FAI has to PICK a NI player (by the way, you don’t own the players – slavery has been abolished). Being PICKED and being ELIGIBLE for selection are two completely different things.

    Indeed they are.

    He should have the same opportunities as his fellow ROI team mates born in Republic.

    In your opinion. My opinion is that he shouldn’t, given that he wasn’t born there, hasn’t lived there, has no parent and no grandparent from there; and given that to make all NI players eligible for the ROI would be grossly unfair, would undermine the integrity of NI football, advantage one FIFA member at the expense of another, and set a dangerous precedent for other expansionist states.

    Gibson would have a Constitutional Right to be ELIGIBLE to play for his country to express his identity (fundamental Constitutional right), discrimination on race might also be considered as well as it would seem he is being discriminated against for being born in NI.

    He wouldn’t have such a constitutional right, because there isn’t one!

    And it would be contradictory to claim he was a different “race” by virtue of being from NI while at the same time arguing that he is equally the same as someone from the South!

    Patent nonsense, too, to claim people from NI are a different “race” to those in the South!

    Gibson has decided he is only Irish and should be ELIGIBLE to play for his country.

    He may well have done, but in reality he is a dual citizen of the UK and ROI.

    The fact that the IFA is known as one of the four British Associations might give the game away to FIFA, don’t you think?

    I’m quite sure that FIFA already knew that the IFA was one of the four British associations.

    Any thoughts on the bullying Gibson was subjected to by IFA when he was a 15 year old and willing to play for them? Should the Irish Gov. be taking action on behalf of one of its citizens (a minor) from this type of intimidation.

    Entirely up to them. Entirely different issue. And I don’t suspect any legal action is likely to be forthcoming!

  • railist

    Willow, Ziz et al-Have your wish to keep football divided on the island but don’t expect your fellow northerners to support your separatist team complete with its subservient anthem and its charming sectarian ‘No Surrender’ add-on

  • willowfield

    Thanks for that incisive contribution, railist.

  • railist

    Incisive and straight to the point is something that you could never be accused of, WF.

    Your clumsy and tedious preoccupation with cutting and pasting everything that moves is indeed sleep-inducing. However do please keep labouring under the misapprehension that anyone actually reads it.
    You’d be a great asset in any Pub-to clear it at last orders in any rate.

  • “No sale. You might well be British and Irish, but tack on the first bit and you lose me. Totally. And NI is very much a British Association. “

    I’m not trying to sell you the idea Kensei. Your prescriptive identity is of no concern of mine, but neither should it be to FIFA. Northern Ireland is de facto British territory and the IFA function within that territory. The Good Friday Agreement is much quoted in this debate and it is worth remembering that it functions within a Northern Ireland context and within that context we all have the right to be considered Irish, British or both. That pre-supposes that those identities can be considered separately but the pretext is that it is within a Northern Irish context (not a ROI context) and subject to consent. Those accepting the agreement accept Northern Ireland as their context. If prior to consent you try to place yourself outside that Northern Ireland context, then you are disregarding that agreement. That is the irony of nationalists claiming the GFA as rationale to be allowed to play for ROI. Do you claim rights to sit in the Dail for those elected as an MLA? No you don’t. You expect them to sit in the Northern Ireland Assembly considering themselves Irish, and there is no apparent contradiction in doing this.

    “And no one is saying wholesale choice. We are simply saying we don’t need to live in Cork for two years to prove we have a connection with the Republic. We are born citizens. The fact you compare us with someone who wants to play for Cameroon is an insult in itself. When will you get it, Chekov? When?”

    You do not have a connection with the Republic of Ireland unless you have a connection with it. You may be Irish, you may feel a kinship with other Irish people on this island, you may even feel part of one nation with those down south – but you consent to the existence of Northern Irish institutions. And whilst there is a Northern Ireland football team, that is your team and the team you should be eligible to represent. And within that context you can attempt to express your identity and attempt to make that identity more visible, because Irish nationality is not incompatible with that team. Of course you have a right not to support that team, but undoubtedly there should be no right to play for another.

    “No it won’t, any more than 4 British teams will.”

    This is the wonderful thing about the United Kingdom Kensei. It is comprised of four nations. None of those nations compromises its identity by being part of the Union, because unlike the narrow confines of nationalism we do not accept that political identity need be predetermined by national identity. There is no contradiction in there being four separate British teams, because there are four main constituent nationalities within the UK. Its like light and shade Kensei.

    “As if they can be separated on this matter. But seeing as we are all Republic fans, we don’t want to see the player pool reduced. Which, er, is the exactly the same reason your giving. But of course, political consideration never come into NI fans heads.”

    The majority of those Northern Ireland fans contributing here will be at Windsor Park on Saturday and I can assure you that politics will be the last thing on their minds. Many of the contributors I know and meet in far-flung corners of Europe supporting their team, and I can assure you that politics is rarely discussed on those trips. And with the respect the main reason that you wish to see Northern players in the Southern team certainly isn’t to maximise the player pool. You’ve barely mentioned the needs of the ROI team. The reason you want northern players to go south is because you detest Northern Ireland as an entity. That is of course your right, but you can’t expect people who are passionate about a football team to be pleased or to accede when your nasty little brand of politics impinges upon their sport. After all the effects of this will be felt much more by those who actually attend football matches than by you or BP deigning to switch on RTE of an evening.

    “Who started it is irrelevant when considering who is blocking it now. FIFA have no particular duty to the IFA other than ensuring the rules are enforced – which at the moment say the FAI are within their rights.”

    What utter hypocrisy given your outrage a few weeks ago! FIFA have every duty to ensure fairness to one of their oldest members.

  • rubin

    ‘The majority of those Northern Ireland fans contributing here will be at Windsor Park on Saturday and I can assure you that politics will be the last thing on their minds’

    Unlike the thousands of fans who will be chanting ‘no surrender’ during the English national anthem.

  • nmc

    A couple of points if I may.

    First is it not the case that both NI and ROI will increase their player pool? Is it not the case that they both increase to the same size?

    Second the idea that the NI squad can have the politics removed is absurd. Even the dedicated NI fans who talk of the advances that have been made against sectarianism (over the past few years) would generally accept that Windsor was a cold house for catholics not so long ago. Do you agree? The no surrender chants, and other negative press coverage is in very recent memory, (within the past few games if I’m not mistaken). You say politics wasn’t on the minds of the fans, explain No Surrender in a non-political context. It’s been done before but it’s always good for a laugh.

    Finally the word fair crops up. Bearing in mind that I accepted the previous ruling (the one which looked as though it was going the NI way) without a sour word, will you accept it when your idea of fair doesn’t match up with others? It’s a subjective thing, fairness, and NI Loyalism has tended to get the direction the wind is blowing spectacularly wrong in the past. When “fair” turns out to say that people who are Irish can declare for their own team, (the one which doesn’t marginalise them with a foreign anthem and sectarian chanting), will you accept that?

  • George

    Chekov,
    just one thing. You wrote:

    This is the wonderful thing about the United Kingdom Kensei. It is comprised of four nations.

    I’m afraid it’s just three nations these days. Northern Ireland is many things but it most certainly isn’t a nation.

    It is the very fact that NI doesn’t consist of a group of people bound together by a strong sense of shared values and cultural characteristics that this problem has arisen in the first place.

    Instead nearly half of its population have this strong sense of shared value and culture with the people of the Irish Republic.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    To be frank, FIFA can shove their “ideas” up their collective autocratic holes, they should butt out and rule objectively, rather than subjectively…

  • Newbie

    FIFA still could rule in favour of the IFA i mean they have got the likes of Danny kennedy Jeff donalddson and Edwin Poots on their side.

  • Charlie

    It’s as simple as this…Irish football fans – if they’ve got an ounce of reconciliatory anti-sectarian spirit in their bones – should cheer on their fellow countrymen whether they’re playing for N. Ireland or the Republic. No ifs, buts or dredging up of past wrongs as justification will ever make a convincing argument to the contrary.

    …so best of luck to the Northern boys in green on Saturday night and hope youse all have a cracker weekend!

  • nmc

    To be frank, FIFA can shove their “ideas” up their collective autocratic holes, they should butt out and rule objectively, rather than subjectively…

    Merely your opinion, one which is at odds with many.

  • Mike

    What’s the bets “railist” is the latest guise of a well-known troll?

  • Mike

    Anyway – Northern Ireland play their most important match in 21 years tomorrow.

    Qualification is an outside chance but win and we take it down to the last match.

    Bring it on…

  • Newbie

    Dont you need more that just the two wins.If Spain defeat Sweden then you have to hope Latvia beat Sweden by something like 3 goals.Even if Sweden lose to Latvia they will still probably go to Austria/Switzerland beacause of the goal differnce.But then again Spain Might compltely go to f..k.The Danes will be easy in my opinion.

  • George

    Newbie,
    Mike is right in what he says about winning meaning it goes down to the last game, which would be a remarkable achievement considering the group.

    If the points are level, then the team with the higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams progresses.

    This means that NI will qualify if they finish level with Sweden or Spain. Best result would be a Sweden victory or even draw leaving NI needing a win in Spain to be guaranteed qualification.

    Sweden getting a draw is hardly beyond the realms of possibility. It’s quite strange how it has hardly been mentioned that NI could be in with a shout.

  • DM

    Newbie –

    In the event of Sweden losing to Spain and Latvia, and NI winning both games, it will go down to head to heads betwen teams before goal difference. Ni would qualify ahead of Sweden in this case.

  • DM

    Beat me to it George!

  • Newbie

    Thanks for the info guys.

  • “Anyway – Northern Ireland play their most important match in 21 years tomorrow.

    Qualification is an outside chance but win and we take it down to the last match.

    Bring it on…”

    Indeed Mike. I’m apprehensive but also excited. It will require a performance of the magnitude of the Spanish and Swedish victories, but if the team are focused on Saturday’s game (rather than the overall scenario) and there is a committed performance, we have a chance. This is easily the most important of the two final games even if we don’t qualify. A win would ensure 3rd place, and having been drawn from the 6th pot, that would be an immense achievement in itself. The significance would be a much improved position in the World Cup draw.

    A man I think needs to come of age on this occasion is Chris Brunt. He has huge talent and a cultured left foot, but we have not yet seen the best of him. With McCartney out (and no overlapping runs), it is up to Brunt to provide the threat on the left hand side. And it is on that side Worthington has a pivotal decision to make. Does he play Evans (who was initially chosen for the U21s) or Capaldi. Please pick Evans Nigel!

  • Mike

    Have to say the excitement is building for me – first ime I’ve seen us going into the last game with a chance of qualifying.

    Brunt could be vital, indeed – when he came on in Latvia he perked us up a lot but his form dipped in Stockholm.

    Evans should start but seems to be out of favour with Worthington!

    Another thing we’ll need, as ever, if Healy getting and taking chances!

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Chekov

    “Northern Ireland is de facto British territory.”

    Actually, Northern Ireland is a de jure British territory. The de facto reality is much more complex and interesting than that.

    The GFA recognised that. The British and Irish governments recognise that. The European Union recognises that. The fact that Derry City play in the Eircom League suggests that UEFA recognises that. Existing FIFA rules show that FIFA recognises that. Everyone does.

    Well, almost everyone……

  • kensei

    Chekov

    “Complete rambling incoherent paragraph”

    Nope, wrong. Your ramble that I am Irish only within in an NI context might have some point if the Irish Constitution didn’t guarantee me a passport by birth and specifically mention my place in the Irish nation.

    You are the one who is presupposing things, and it is you that are reading things that aren’t there. I care not one stuff for Northern Ireland, but I agree to the political arrangements because I am a democrat. But again, the state says nothing of the people in it. I don’t have to like the symbols, I don’t have to curtail my Irishness to suit your “context”, and I don’t have to support the football team.

    Does any Unionist here know what they signed up to?

    “You do not have a connection with the Republic of Ireland unless you have a connection with it….”

    So, to conclude, you are saying I am Northern Irish and my Irishness is entirely dependent on it’s context. I think the argument about dictating identity can be concluded fairly swiftly.

    Right, so to be clear, you absolutely don’t get it at all. I am a citizen of the Irish Republic by birthright. I don’t have to prove any further connection to it, and if Britain or the six counties were swallowed by the sea tomorrow, then that would still be the case.

    “This is the wonderful thing about the United Kingdom Kensei…”

    George has already covered the “nation” point. Also, good to note that you can separate political institutions from national identity, because then you might be able to follow that NI is nothing more than a political arrangement I must suffer, rather than something of any value.

    The point is of course, nothing to do about British Nationalism being holier than thou than any other sort of Nationalism. No, it is to do with the fact that it is clearly exceptional in world football. As I haven’t seen the international game splinter into a regional game, then clearly exceptions don’t compromise the whole system.

    But you knew that, and just wanted to have a rant, so you could be wrong twice. Congratulations, great success!

    “The majority of those Northern Ireland fans contributing here… ”

    That’s because the thread immediately launches into questions of identity and politics without any help from me. I’m certainly glad Gibson is playing for us, because we need as many good young players coming through as possible. Ireland is a small team with a lot of competition from other sports, and getting a conveyor belt of players is absolutely crucial. We went from qualification in 2002 to nowhere now. It’s a tough game.

    “The reason you want northern players to go south…”

    This issue is inseparable from the idea of politics and identity, and NI fan that can’t see it and says it doesn’t factor in is an outright liar.

    As it happens, this goes deeper than mere political considerations. It is an attack on my very nature by people who have not exactly been tolerant in the past.

    But of course, people can have complex motivations, unless of course they support NI, which makes them entirely one dimensional. Everything factors in.

    “After all the effects of this will be felt much more by…”

    When is NI going to start turning away armchair or pub chair support? Very easy to do – stop selling the TV and radio rights, only sell the shirt at Windsor etc. Every time you see an NI shirt start yelling “Have you been at a game” rather than talking to them.

    Oh, wait, no. You are talking bollocks.

    “What utter hypocrisy…”

    FIFA has a far greater responsibility to the players than any particular FA. Which er, is the same thing I was arguing two weeks ago, just said in a different way.

    And their responsibility sit he same to the IFA or Kosovo FA. Age should not be a factor, by the by.

  • willowfield

    BILLY PILGRIM

    Actually, Northern Ireland is a de jure British territory. The de facto reality is much more complex and interesting than that.

    The GFA recognised that. The British and Irish governments recognise that. The European Union recognises that. The fact that Derry City play in the Eircom League suggests that UEFA recognises that. Existing FIFA rules show that FIFA recognises that. Everyone does.

    What on earth does that mean? NI is de jure and de facto British territory.

    KENSEI

    Ireland is a small team with a lot of competition from other sports

    And the same for the Republic, albeit not quite as small as the Ireland team.

    As it happens, this goes deeper than mere political considerations. It is an attack on my very nature by people who have not exactly been tolerant in the past.

    MOPE alert! Wanting NI players to play for NI is “an attack on the very nature of Kensei”!

    FIFA has a far greater responsibility to the players than any particular FA.

    It doesn’t. Its responsibility is to its members, which are national FAs.

  • kensei

    “And the same for the Republic, albeit not quite as small as the Ireland team.”

    Ho ho ho

    “MOPE alert! Wanting NI players to play for NI is “an attack on the very nature of Kensei”!”

    Done this one before willow. Even more boring the second time. Go read the last thread.

    “It doesn’t. Its responsibility is to its members, which are national FAs.”

    I think that is a somewhat simplistic view of FIFA.