“on the territory of the relevant Association..”

As the Belfast Telegraph reports the 58th FIFA Congress meeting in Sydney has adopted a new Article 16 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes [pdf file] – see previous dispute over Article 15 noted here. From the Congress Agenda [pdf file]

16 Nationality entitling players to represent more than one Association
1 A player who, under the terms of art. 15, is eligible to represent more than one Association on account of his nationality, may play in an international match for one of these Associations only if, in addition to having the relevant nationality, he fulfils at least one of the following conditions:
(a) he was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
(b) his biological mother or biological father was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
(c) his grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
(d) he has lived on the territory of the relevant Association for at least two years without interruption.
2 Regardless of par. 1 above, Associations sharing a common nationality may make an agreement under which item (d) of par. 1 of this article is deleted completely or amended to specify a longer time limit. Such agreements shall be lodged with and approved by the Executive Committee.

Adds The new Article 18 would also seem to be relevant – see below the fold. Update There appears to be some disagreement over what this actually means.. still.The new Article 18 is also worth noting

18 Change of Association

1 If a Player has more than one nationality, or if a Player acquires a new nationality, or if a Player is eligible to play for several representative teams due to nationality, he may, up to his 21st birthday, and only once, request to change the Association for which he is eligible to play international matches to the Association of another country of which he holds nationality, subject to the following conditions:

(a) He has not played a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition at “A” international level for his current Association, and at the time of his first full or partial appearance in an international match in an official competition for his current Association, he already had the nationality of the representative team for which he wishes to play.

(b) He is not permitted to play for his new Association in any competition in which he has already played for his previous Association.

2 If a Player who has been fielded by his Association in an international match in accordance with art. 15 par. 2 permanently loses the nationality of that country without his consent or against his will due to a decision by a government authority, he may request permission to play for another Association whose nationality he already has or has acquired.

3 Any Player who has the right to change Associations in accordance with par. 1 and 2 above shall submit a written, substantiated request to the FIFA general secretariat. The Players’ Status Committee shall decide on the request. The procedure will be in accordance with the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber. Once the player has filed his request, he is not eligible to play for any representative team until his request has been processed.

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  • As I’ve said on my own blog, this ostensibly seems a fairly clear statement. If FIFA is to apply this criteria consistently then the IFA have won. It’s difficult to envisage how FIFA could wriggle out of applying this in an Irish context.

  • Not so fast

    From the FIFA website:

    Joseph S. Blatter: The congress has ruled in favour of stopping the transaction of players, including young players, who change nationalities after residence of only two years. We speak not of dual nationality, but of someone who wants to take another nationality. The new rule will be that a person has to have lived in that country for five years and it starts when the person is 18-years-old as opposed to now when it can be younger. This is to protect young players.

  • That’s a different matter and a different section of the document.

  • Pete Baker

    NSF

    That’s a reference to Article 17

    “17 Acquisition of a new nationality”

    Article 16 is as stated above.

  • Mark McGregor

    According to Article 15 section 1, Irish people are entitled to play for Ireland. The subsequent stuff only kicks in if they hold dual nationality or have played for another association.

    The IFA may wish to start arguing that they can impose British nationality on those who are explicitly allowed as a birthright not to hold. That’d be a fun and expensive legal battle for them.

    Seems they lost most of the battle other than stuff over how players who have already played for them can leave.

  • Not so fast

    Article 15 seems pretty clear to me:

    “Any person holding the nationality of a country is eligible to play for
    the representative teams of the Association of that country. The
    Executive Committee shall decide on the conditions of eligibility
    for any Player who has not played international football in accordance
    with par. 2 below, and either acquires a new nationality or is
    eligible to play for the teams of more than one Association due to
    his nationality.”

  • Dec

    The contents of Paragraph 2 underline how much FIFA would like the FAI and the IFA to sort this out amongst themselves.

    However, it has still to go before the Executive Committee (AFAIK).

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    “The subsequent stuff only kicks in if they hold dual nationality..”

    Article 16 doesn’t refer to dual nationality.

    Irish people can, already, play for either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

    Article 18 is where the gap is.

  • ” A player who, under the terms of art. 15, , may play in an international match for one of these Associations ONLY if, in addition to having the relevant nationality, he fulfils at least one of the following conditions:”

    Article 15 cannot be separated from Article 16 where a player qualifies for two associations. The connection is made quite explicit. There is no room for confusion. A northern based player “is eligible to represent more than one Association on account of his nationality” if he holds a ROI passport. He therefore is subject to Article 16.

  • Dec

    The new Article 18 is also worth noting .

    Hopefully the IFA will read that article, as it may prevent them wasting everyone’s time when trying to poach ineligible Scottish fullbacks.

  • Pete Baker

    Chekov

    And I’d also refer you to Article 18.

  • “Article 18 is where the gap is.”

    But Pete, the player being dealt with by Article 18, is only eligible for more than one association, under the criteria set out in Article 16. Only if he satisfies the criteria in Art 16, does Art 18 become relevant.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    Nationality defines entitlement to play. International agreement explicitly states that those born in the north of Ireland as a birthright can define their own nationality as either British, Irish or both. The right to hold dual nationality doesn’t mean it is held.

    Any player that defines themselves as Irish and hasn’t held dual nationality or changed is fully entitled to play for Ireland.

    It would be for the IFA to argue that the international agreement submitted with the UN on nationality doesn’t hold any weight.

  • Pete Baker

    Actually, you may be right, Chekov.

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    “Nationality defines entitlement to play.”

    FIFA defines entitlement to play for their Associations.

    Including the northern irish association.

  • “It would be for the IFA to argue that the international agreement submitted with the UN on nationality doesn’t hold any weight.”

    Actually it would be incumbent upon the player / poaching association to prove that he was not eligible to play for Northern Ireland.

  • Mark McGregor

    Pete,

    They define it initially on the basis of Nationality. Nationality in the north is defined by international agreement explicitly that it was the iindividual to decide if they are Irish, British or both.

    If an individual has decided they are Irish, they are Irish. They cannot and don’t have British nationality thrust apon them or dual nationality – thaey are options open but not automatic.

    Therefore any Irish person in the north meets the nationality requirement. Unless they have previously availed of the dual nationality option open to them.

  • Dec

    Btw the new Article 18 is just a rehash of the 2004 Article 15. Nothing really new there. It is solely to account for young players being ‘locked-in’ to an association by a decision potentially made when they were a ‘child’.

  • Pete Baker

    Mark

    You’re arguing that holding an irish passport should mean that you are not eligible to play for the northern irish association.

  • willowfield

    First, Article 16 is not relevant to the NI/ROI situation as it relates only to players whose nationality (singular) entitles them to represent more than one team (as opposed to dual nationality).

    Second, the change to Article 18 makes no material difference to the NI/ROI situation.

    So – sadly – nothing has changed: the South is still entitled to poach Northern players.

    CHEKOV

    As I’ve said on my own blog, this ostensibly seems a fairly clear statement. If FIFA is to apply this criteria consistently then the IFA have won. It’s difficult to envisage how FIFA could wriggle out of applying this in an Irish context.

    Not so, I’m afraid – see my post above.

    MARK MCGREGOR

    According to Article 15 section 1, Irish people are entitled to play for Ireland.

    That makes no sense: there are two Ireland teams.

    The IFA may wish to start arguing that they can impose British nationality on those who are explicitly allowed as a birthright not to hold. That’d be a fun and expensive legal battle for them.

    What on earth are you talking about? Everyone born in NI is a British national! It’s got nothing to do with the IFA, nor is there a “birthright” not to hold it!

  • kensei

    Chekov

    A northern based player “is eligible to represent more than one Association on account of his nationality” if he holds a ROI passport. He therefore is subject to Article 16.

    An Irish passport will not qualify a player for NI. You still ultimately have to be eligible for British citizenship to qualify. If you read the articles around the time of the Irish passport kickup, the IFA state they will demonstrate that the player qualifies.

  • willowfield

    Kensei is correct, although it’s less a case of “eligibility” for UK citizenship than actually being a UK citizen.

  • CS Parnell

    Why is it that unionist seem to think they have a right to force nationalists to play for Northern Ireland? Those days are gone.

    Personally, as I have said here before, I have mixed feelings about it. Plenty of people from Andytown used to go to Windsor Park to watch Northern Ireland play.

    But I can also understand why, today, they would no longer wish to do so. The days when nationalists would thoil being treated as second class citizens and their views ignored (does anyone else remember the crowd singing the sash in NI – Spain match in 1982?) are over.

    There is an obvious solution, the one applied by rugby, but not enough people want to use it (and please don’t respond with “them uns started it”).

  • pacman

    How does an Irishman from “the North” choosing to exercise his right to play for his country (presumably “the South” as referred to) mean that the FAI has poached him?

  • Dec

    Pacman

    How does an Irishman from “the North” choosing to exercise his right to play for his country (presumably “the South” as referred to) mean that the FAI has poached him?

    I think they get John Delaney and the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang mixed up.

    You would think the fact that the IFA are not above a bit of (attempted, at least)’poaching’ themselves (the Brian Mclean incident), would make them wary of throwing the ‘Poacher’ tag around, but apparently not.

  • Doctor Who

    CS Parnell

    Can you please provide me with a list of Nationalists who where forced to play for NI.

    Mark mcGregor

    How can the IFA impose a nationality on a player, it does not have that power. Currently any player representing NI can carry a British or Irish passport. You wish to impose a nationality on NI players by saying if you play for NI you are British. Why?

    Willowfield

    Surely point 2 in article 16 means that if any NI player who does not meet the criteria of article 16 to play for ROI, he then has to rely on both association to agree.

    I´m missing something, perhaps the point refers to the associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Does this not apply to ROI as we do not share a common nationality with them, it is only the IFA who have players who can have more than one nationality.

    Can you explain, maybe FIFA should publish a book entitled “FIFA Rules For Thickos”.

    Kensei

    Again just as an Irish or British passport does not automatically qualify a player for NI, if article 16 is imposed an Irish passport is also not simply enough for any northern player to qualify for ROI.

  • CS Parnell

    Doctor Who,

    Any nationalist who palyed football at the international level before 1999 had no choice but to play for Northern Ireland and that is what some people want to restore.

    Your line is like saying “show the nationalist who was forced to live under one party rule before 1972” – because anybody could have left.

    Well, bollicks to that in all its manifestations.

  • Poor Willowfield – when are they going to do a book ‘The Good Friday Agreement for Dummies’? It’s there in clear black ink man

    1. The participants endorse the commitment made by the British and Irish
    Governments that, in a new British-Irish Agreement replacing the Anglo-
    Irish Agreement, they will: (vi) recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to
    identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they
    may so choose, and accordingly confirm that their right to hold both
    British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would
    not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland.

    Can it be any clearer? This international agreement is registered with the United Nations and hasn’t been set aside or superseded since then, notwithstanding the St Andrew’s Agreement. So please desist – if someone wants to play football for NI, they’re free to do so OR not. Likewise with the Republic.

  • Doctor Who

    CS Parnell

    Utter tripe, from 1999 there has only been one palyer from a Nationalist background who did not meet the full FIFA criteria to play for ROI who has done so. The reasons he gave stemmed from a falling out with the IFA.

    Again can you provide me with the names of any palyers who where forced to play for Northern Ireland. Most Nationalist players have stated that they where proud to play for Northern Ireland including Neill Lennon whose situation has been exploited by IFA detractors.

    I dare say some may have wished to play to an all island side and many have said so, but the reality is there is two ireland teams and playing for Northern Ireland does not dilute anyones Irishness it does in fact enhance it.

  • Willowfield,
    “Everyone born in NI is a British national! It’s got nothing to do with the IFA, nor is there a “birthright” not to hold it! ”
    Heh, yeah right, I was born in NI – does that mean I’m a British National? First I heard of it. Is this nationality going to be thrust on me? Btw, I’m rubbish at football but at a push I’ll play keeper.

  • kensei

    Doctor Who

    Again just as an Irish or British passport does not automatically qualify a player for NI, if article 16 is imposed an Irish passport is also not simply enough for any northern player to qualify for ROI.

    Read the rules again. The rules state that a player that holds a country’s nationality is eligible to play for that country. The exceptions are

    1. A player’s nationality qualifies him for more than one team e.g. British Nationality.
    2. A player wishes to change nationality

    The only place I could see where the IFA has a case is if a player selects NI and then wants to change to the Republic. But if a player wants to chose the Republic at the start, I can’t see how either of those apply.

  • willowfield

    DOCTOR WHO

    Surely point 2 in article 16 means that if any NI player who does not meet the criteria of article 16 to play for ROI, he then has to rely on both association to agree.

    No. This has been discussed ad nauseam. As I already said, Article 16 is not relevant to the NI/ROI situation as it relates only to players whose nationality (singular) entitles them to represent more than one team (as opposed to dual nationality). Re. paragraph 2 of said Article, the IFA and FAI do not share a common nationality (unlike the IFA and FA, FAW and SFA).

    I´m missing something, perhaps the point refers to the associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Correct. And also Denmark and Faroes; China and Hong Kong; France and Guadeloupe; Netherlands and Aruba, etc.

    Does this not apply to ROI as we do not share a common nationality with them, it is only the IFA who have players who can have more than one nationality.

    Correct.

    CONCHUBAR

    Poor Willowfield – when are they going to do a book ‘The Good Friday Agreement for Dummies’? It’s there in clear black ink man

    I think said book would be more useful to you than to me.

    First, it is not the Belfast Agreement which determines the nationality of people from NI: it is the British Nationality Act 1981.

    Second, there never was any impediment to people “identifying themselves as Irish or British, or both”, prior to the Belfast Agreement, nor is there any impediment now. Being a UK citizen does not stop someone from identifying himself as Irish. I do it myself. Nor does it force anyone to identify himself as British. How we identify ourselves is entirely a matter for ourselves and no-one else.

    Third, under the British Nationality Act 1981, anyone born in NI to at least one UK-national parent, is a UK citizen.

    Can it be any clearer?

    It probably could, actually, so as to stop people like you confusing “identity” with citizenship. (Or maybe it was deliberately drafted in such terms.)

    ULSTERMANIRELANDFAN

    Heh, yeah right, I was born in NI – does that mean I’m a British National?

    Almost certainly, unless your parents were recent immigrants?

  • oneill

    Almost certainly, unless your parents were recent immigrants?

    …or if you’ve written a letter to the Home Secretary asking for your British nationality to be rescinded.

  • willowfield

    And paid the appropriate fee. I think he’d remember if he’d done that!

  • oneill

    Willowfield,
    You’re probably right!

    He can’t really change where his parents were born and I just wanted to give him another option…

  • Certainly haven’t done that. Didn’t realise I’d have to actively opt out of a foreign state trying to claim me as a citizen. Anyway, I though nationality in such cases was conferred rather than imposed. I would imagine many may be in the same position of being unwittingly claimed in this way. Thanks for alerting me to this.

  • willowfield

    It’s perfectly normal for people born in a particular country automatically (assuming a parent is a citizen) to be citizens of that country.

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    >>According to Article 15 section 1, Irish people are entitled to play for Ireland.

    That makes no sense: there are two Ireland teams. << Willow These two Ireland teams that you speak of. Have you any idea of the percentages of those who play for, or aspire to play for, the north eastern Ireland team. Who would actually consider themselves Irish?

  • kensei

    willow

    First, it is not the Belfast Agreement which determines the nationality of people from NI: it is the British Nationality Act 1981

    And also the Irish Constitution. And by the by, the GFA makes not just a flowery aspiration point, it is also explicit on citizenship, the legal representation of nationality. The intention is fairly clear.

    The implicit British citizenship is probably a side effect of British legislation more than anything else, but one even nationalists find useful as like it or not, voting rights, pension etc are all tied up in the British system. I have little qualm doing the appropriate renunciation on principle, but I suspect the practicalities make it less attractive. Would I lose for example, the right to vote this place out of the UK?

  • Doctor Who

    kensei

    “The only place I could see where the IFA has a case is if a player selects NI and then wants to change to the Republic. But if a player wants to chose the Republic at the start, I can’t see how either of those apply”.

    I agree with this, I am now of the opinion that the rules do favour the poaching practices of the FAI, there is still however a great deal of ambiguity in the FIFA articles.

    Article 16 section d.and point 2. seem only relevant to the four “Home” asscoiations, if it is accepted that NI born players automatically qualify for the ROI by birth.

  • willowfield

    KENSEI

    And by the by, the GFA makes not just a flowery aspiration point, it is also explicit on citizenship, the legal representation of nationality.

    Indeed. The two governments confirmed that the “right to hold both British and Irish citizenship is accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland”.

    The intention is fairly clear.

    The intention was that the South would change its law so that Northerners could automatically be regarded as citizens from birth without having to apply for citizenship. There was no intention, and certainly not a clear one, that the UK would legislate so that NI people would cease automatically to be UK citizens at birth. And certainly, no such legislation has been passed or even mooted.

    Would I lose for example, the right to vote this place out of the UK?

    Wouldn’t think so as Southern citizens have voting rights in the UK, don’t they?

    DOCTOR

    I agree with this, I am now of the opinion that the rules do favour the poaching practices of the FAI, there is still however a great deal of ambiguity in the FIFA articles.

    It’s a pity the IFA have been arguing for FIFA to enforce rules under which the South can pick Northern players.

  • Willowfield,

    “Wouldn’t think so as Southern citizens have voting rights in the UK, don’t they?” – this is correct for westminster and local elections, not sure about referendum situations.

  • Doctor Who

    Willowfield

    “It’s a pity the IFA have been arguing for FIFA to enforce rules under which the South can pick Northern players.”

    I think you´re right Willowfield. The IFA should´ve argued a change of the rules as opposed to enforcement of the articles. They should´ve pushed for a rule that favoured the the jurisdiction of the relevant football association of where someone is born, as opposed to the nationality. If FIFA had´ve done this then the points of article 16 and article 18 would then be appropriate for NI born players wishing to play for the ROI side.

    I now think the way forward is to ensure that everyone born in NI see´s that playing for Northern Ireland is the natural thing to do. This should´nt be too dificult as up to now it very much has been the case.

    Although I do think the use of anthems and flags to be largely irrelevant I do think a neutral and unique anthem for NI is a step forward. GSTQ is not unique to Northern Ireland. A neutral flag for NI will prove more difficult as even Sinn Fein are happier to have the Union flag has the official flag of NI as opposed to the old Govt. of Ireland flag or a modification of that flag used to represent NI, six counties etc. etc.

    I still think however that article 15 is very ambiguous when applied to our situation.

  • Doctor Who

    “old govt. of Ireland flag”

    Should of course read the old govt. of Northern Ireland.

  • BonarLaw

    Nationality is defined by national legislation, not by international agreements. May I suggest that those quoting a political agreement go back to basics?

  • CS Parnell

    Doctor Who, forget it. Many from nationalist backgrounds have played for NI in the past – Pat Jennings, Martin O’Neil, Mal Donaghy and Gerry Armstrong all gave great service that night in Spain.

    I supported NI then and I don’t regret it.

    But times have moved on. I’m not really prepared to offer much support to either team but the least of the two is definitely NI and I wouldn’t expect any relative of mine to play for them. It’s not just the sectarian banners and GSTQ, it’s about self-respect and your right to say you are Irish.

    Sorry, but that’s the way it is. To mis-quote John Hume it’s United Irish Team or nothing.

  • willowfield

    Depressing bigotry from C S Parnell.

    I see the BBC don’t understand the FIFA rules:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7432487.stm

    Talk about getting it wrong!

  • bigroary

    I faithfully went to Windsor for years in th 80,s, I heard the bigotry, the sash, the booing of Anton Rogan.I eventually came to the decision that myself and folk like me are neither wanted or welcome there and I believe that despite all the efforts, nothing has changed, its a unionist team for unionist folk and the only time they want a fenian about the place is when he,s a decent footballer.thats the reality.An Irish citizen whether born in Derry or Belfast has the right to play for thier country, that country plays its games at Croke and everyones welcome unlike your wee provence

  • willowfield

    Poor old bigotedroary.

  • Realist

    “I now think the way forward is to ensure that everyone born in NI see´s that playing for Northern Ireland is the natural thing to do. This should´nt be too dificult as up to now it very much has been the case”

    Doctor Who,

    I think you understate the difficulty.

    Despite what most seem to be reporting, the thing is that any youngster born in Northern Ireland now has the choice to play for either Northern Ireland or the Republic Of Ireland.

    Previously, such choice did not exist.

    The challenges facing the IFA are basically twofold:

    1. Making the choice the play for Northern Ireland as easy as is possible for as many as possible.

    You allude to the anthem issue…If I put myself into the shoes of a player from a nationalist background standing for GSTQ – would I feel comfortable with it, motivated by it and represented by it? Absolutely not.

    The issue for me is about the strengthening of a Northern Irish identity.

    2. Concentrating their efforts on those who make the choice to play for Northern Ireland.

    As I have said many times before, if an eligible player doesn’t wish to play for Northern Ireland, I would have no interest whatsoever in trying to shackle him. The “it’s us, or nobody” attitude sits uncomfortably with me.

    I have no doubt that many players from a nationalist background will continue to play for Northern Ireland – those who make a career decision, based on the fact that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to play International football.

    Some detailed research into the attitudes of young footballers in Northern Ireland towards playing for Northern Ireland is needed.

    The IFA would be well served to heed the results of such research – as would Northern Ireland fans.

  • willowfield

    Well said, Realist

  • Mick Fealty

    willow et al,

    Can you keep the personal comments out of the argument?

  • Bigroary

    Willofield
    You stupidly accuse me of bigotry, based on what exactly? if you read my original post I said that I originally had been happy to go to Windsor and support NI but was made feel unwelcome and indeed unsafe by the bigotry I encountered there.

  • audley

    Is there any truth in the rumour that the DUP are voting for the 42-day detention rule as they intend to intend to enforce it for any northern nationalist who declares for the FAI???

  • Doctor Who

    Realist

    “You allude to the anthem issue…If I put myself into the shoes of a player from a nationalist background standing for GSTQ – would I feel comfortable with it, motivated by it and represented by it? Absolutely not.”

    Yes you are absolutely right, it also has to be said that many from the Unionist tradition would also not feel mtivated by GSTQ. We need to have something that is uniquely Northern Ireland, not to appease one section of the community but to state that the team is inclusive and representative of the entire country. I detest GSTQ.

  • Cahal

    Realist

    “The issue for me is about the strengthening of a Northern Irish identity.”

    IMO, to most nationalists/republicans, ‘Northern Ireland Identity’ translates directly as ‘Ulster Protestant’.

  • willowfield

    You stupidly accuse me of bigotry, based on what exactly? if you read my original post I said that I originally had been happy to go to Windsor and support NI but was made feel unwelcome and indeed unsafe by the bigotry I encountered there.

    Seems odd that you went in the 80s when there was sectarianism, but won’t go now when sectarianism has been effectively eradicated.

  • willowfield

    However, I do apologise.

  • Bigroary

    Secterianism at Windsor eradicated?, news to me, news to Neill Lennon, the only differance between now and when I went in the 80,s is that outward signs of this are no longer acceptable to the IFA, apart from that nothing has changed,people like me are not welcome, thanx for the apology though, I deplore bigotry.

  • Realist

    “IMO, to most nationalists/republicans, ‘Northern Ireland Identity’ translates directly as ‘Ulster Protestant’”

    Cahal,

    Some recent identity research amongst kids would suggest that a “Northern Irish” identity is strengthening across the divide.

    I’ll try and dig it out later.

    It certainly does not mean “Ulster Protestant” to me.

    “Secterianism at Windsor eradicated?, news to me, news to Neill Lennon”

    Bigroary,

    It might be news to you, but it’s not news to Neil Lennon.

    This is what Neil said last February.

    “Unsung Heroes who have been brave enough to challenge sectarianism and who have actively created a more fun, safe and family orientated atmosphere at international games. Fans have made the atmosphere at Northern Ireland football games in recent years the envy of Fans across not only Europe but World Football. From a personal point of view I would like to thank them for their efforts.”

    Perhaps it it those who apply outdated labels to all Northern Irelands fans that are the real bigots?

  • Realist

    “We need to have something that is uniquely Northern Ireland, not to appease one section of the community but to state that the team is inclusive and representative of the entire country. I detest GSTQ.”

    Doctor Who,

    GSTQ is my National Anthem, and I am happy with that.

    However, I recognise that not all Northern Ireland players (and supporters) in any way identify with it. In fact, it is alien to them.

    Therefore, I broadly suppport the idea of a uniquely Northern Irish “sporting” anthem for use at our games, akin to the practice of the Welsh and Scottish FAs.

    Far from being an appeasement to anyone, I feel that would strengthen a Northern Irish footballing identity.

    As you will well know, one of the major difficulties in bringing about change is that many would view such a move as an appeasement to those who seek the destruction of the Northern Ireland team.

    Change should always be for the betterment and strenthening of our footballing future…and for no other reason.

    I am committed to the principle that those who seek the destruction of the Northern Ireland team will not, in any way shape or form, dictate change….such matters are for resolution between the broad family of those who have the best interests of the Northern Ireland team at heart.

  • willowfield

    BIGROARY

    Secterianism at Windsor eradicated?, news to me, news to Neill Lennon, the only differance between now and when I went in the 80,s is that outward signs of this are no longer acceptable to the IFA, apart from that nothing has changed,people like me are not welcome, thanx for the apology though, I deplore bigotry.

    You say you deplore bigotry, yet a bigot is someone with a closed mind – something that you appear to demonstrate in the above post.

  • RepublicanStones

    Realist is spot on IMO….The mind boggles as to why the IFA would want to force a player who would be hesitant in lining out for them to do just that. Best to attempt to do away with the reasons for that hesitancy, instead of limiting choices. Personally i have no idea why any nationalist would wish to tog out for the north (although current fifa ratings make it a bit more attractive than the southern boyos) as it confers legitimacy on an entity, nationalists question the very legitimacy of. Yet to make this the only option open to them is highly unreasonable.

  • harpo

    “Irish people can, already, play for either the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.”

    Pete:

    I don’t think so.

    If this is all about declaring (and having) 1 nationality, then how can someone who declares that they only have Irish (ie of the ROI) nationality be entitled to play for NI?

    This issue was raised in the recent discussions on this issue – that anyone on the island could be entitled to play for either NI or the ROI. I don’t see how that is possible. Why should someone born and raised in Cork, who never sets foot in NI, be entitled to play for NI?

  • harpo

    “Any player that defines themselves as Irish and hasn’t held dual nationality or changed is fully entitled to play for Ireland.”

    Mark:

    That’s how I would read it all, but where does that leave Darron Gibson?

    Given that he DID play for NI at one point he can hardly hang his hat on a declaration that he is of Irish nationality, and nothing but Irish nationality.

    His story has to be that he is of dual nationality – British and Irish – and that while earlier in his life he used his British nationality to play for NI, he is now choosing to play for the ROI using his Irish nationality.

    His story has to be that he is changing associations. It isn’t as if he declared at some point in his past that he was ONLY Irish and thus ONLY qualified to play for the ROI.

    He is undone though by Article 16 which states:

    “A player who, under the terms of art. 15, is eligible to represent more than one Association on account of his nationality, may play in an international match for one of these Associations only if, in addition to having the relevant nationality, he fulfils at least one of the following conditions:
    (a) he was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    (b) his biological mother or biological father was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    (c) his grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    (d) he has lived on the territory of the relevant Association for at least two years without interruption.”

    Gibson was entitled to play for both associations and originally chose NI. Or maybe he didn’t choose and didn’t even think about it. Under the conditions he qualified to do so. By wanting to switch he does have to comply with the same conditions – one of a,b,c,d in article 16 – but unfortunately for him, doesn’t comply.

    It’s too late for him to state ‘I am only Irish’. Some nationalists are taking this approach and claiming it is unfair, but it isn’t. He used his British nationality to play for NI.

    As I see it young players have to decide upfront which nationality, or nationalities, they are going with.

    The FAI is entitled to pick anyone from NI who is of only Irish nationality. But if a player demonstrates that they are also British (by playing for NI at lower levels) then article 16 kicks in. Then they have to meet one of those 4 conditions to be able to switch to the ROI.

  • Realist

    “That’s how I would read it all, but where does that leave Darron Gibson?”

    harpo,

    To cut a long story short, it leaves him playing for the Republic Of Ireland, with FIFA’s blessing.

    By the way, he only represented Northern Ireland at schoolboy level – which is a different kettle of fish.

  • harpo

    “By the way, he only represented Northern Ireland at schoolboy level – which is a different kettle of fish.”

    Realist:

    True, but it is evidence of his dual nationality.

    If he had been ‘only’ Irish, then he wouldn’t have played for NI, even at that level.

    But since he did play for NI, he must be both British and Irish.

    Many nationalists cry ‘but it isn’t fair if he can’t play for his country’ but that argument is undone by the fact that he played for another country previously. He must thus be in the situation of having dual nationality.

    That’s why I’m saying that youngsters need to be careful which country they play for. You can’t very well claim that you are only Irish if you use your Britishness to play for NI at an early stage.

  • Realist

    “If he had been ‘only’ Irish, then he wouldn’t have played for NI, even at that level”

    harpo,

    Getting off track a little, but I don’t think that’s right.

    I think anybody at school in Northern Ireland (regardless of any other crap) can play for Northern Ireland schoolboys?

    In other words, my interpretation is (and I stand to be corrected that a Polish kid at school in Northern Ireland, can play for Northern Ireland schoolboys.

    Furthermore, the schoolboys set up does not come under the direct control of the IFA.

    From the NISFA website:

    “A pupil may represent the Association in International matches only if he is in attendance at a school in membership of an affiliated Organisation or in Associate Membership of the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association”

  • Cap’n Bob

    The final whistle of an under 21 game saved Steve McCall of being English.

    Tim Cahill played for Samoa at a lower level and then went on to be a full Australian international.

    FIFA is endeavoring to help people in these situations.

  • harpo

    “FIFA is endeavoring to help people in these situations.”

    Bob:

    You mean people who want to switch countries for no good reason?

  • willowfield

    HARPO

    If this is all about declaring (and having) 1 nationality, then how can someone who declares that they only have Irish (ie of the ROI) nationality be entitled to play for NI?

    Because, if you are an ROI national, you are entitled to play for ROI – it doesn’t matter whether or what you “declare”, or whether you have one, two, three or four nationalities.

    Given that he DID play for NI at one point he can hardly hang his hat on a declaration that he is of Irish nationality, and nothing but Irish nationality.

    He doesn’t need to. He has dual nationality and has transferred from one to the other under FIFA rules.

    He is undone though by Article 16 …

    He’s not because Article 16 doesn’t apply to dual nationality.

    Gibson was entitled to play for both associations and originally chose NI. Or maybe he didn’t choose and didn’t even think about it. Under the conditions he qualified to do so. By wanting to switch he does have to comply with the same conditions – one of a,b,c,d in article 16 – but unfortunately for him, doesn’t comply.

    He doesn’t – he had to comply with the annex to old circular 901 – now Article 18.

    It’s too late for him to state ‘I am only Irish’.

    Stating that you are only Irish is of no relevance.

    The FAI is entitled to pick anyone from NI who is of only Irish nationality.

    There are no (or very few) people from NI with only ROI nationality. The FAI can pick anyone with ROI nationality regardless of whether they also have another nationality.

    But if a player demonstrates that they are also British (by playing for NI at lower levels) then article 16 kicks in. Then they have to meet one of those 4 conditions to be able to switch to the ROI.

    Wrong. First, you don’t need to play for NI to “demonstrate that you are British”, and second the 4 conditions don’t apply.