Interesting piece from Spotlight on the problem of Northern Ireland losing talent to the FAI. Darron Gibson of Derry City apparently is only the third NI born player to make the A team of the Irish Republic, but a pro-active campaign on the part of the FAI suggests that pressures in the modern game may be forcing its hand someone. Interestingly, the FAI declined a camera interview. FIFA, who don’t come well out it at all, produced an internal circular 901 last May which asserted a new set of rules over extra territorial players that allowed for Grannies, but re-emphasised the importance of territory as the predication of eligibility. As a footnote of sorts it seems that extra revenues that would flow from an all Ireland league is popular with the clubs, but not with the two associations.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty