CAS case to be concluded today- Update: Ruling in Favour of FAI

The protracted dispute over the elibigility of northerners to represent the Republic of Ireland should finally be resolved today, with the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) issuing its ruling later today. This comes after the Irish Football Association took a case against west Belfast youth, Daniel Kearns, objecting to the rules which deemed him eligible to represent the Republic.

This one’s been covered on Slugger for years and quite a few Sluggerites have become experts on the FIFA Statutes thanks to Site veterans like ‘George’ and others. I’ve made my own thoughts pretty clear in the Belfast Telegraph in recent times- here and here, as has Owen Polley and others.

Looks like we’ll finally be getting some closure on this one at last….

Update: CAS has ruled in favour of the player, FIFA and the FAI. Here’s the FAI statement and the IFA statement.

  • Donald Fraser

    Not sure what the problem with an ‘ad hominem’ attack on the fans is in the context of this thread. NI’s core support have been a fairly ghastly bunch down the years with some improvement in the latter part of the last decade. That ghastliness is entirely germane to the current debate is it not? i.e. it’s entirely appropriate to want to play for the Southern team when a significant chunk of your ‘own’ fans are a bunch of repellent neanderthals who reserve their choicest venom for you and your co-religionists. Preventing that debate by the application of some sort of blanket preclusion on ‘ad hominem’ attacks seems fairly disingenuous to me.

  • lamhdearg

    The good thing about northern ireland not having a(national) cricket/rugby team is it leaves it open for me to support whatever other nation i want without feeling a traitor, for cricket its England and for rugby its whoever is playing austraila. Again on the northern ireland team this time without the curse words go away Daniel we dont want you.

  • Republic of Connaught

    St Etienne,

    Are you a Liverpool supporter by the way?

    If nn all ‘nationalist’ team exists it’s because our Protestant countrymen in Ulster refuse to take their natural seat at the 32 county Irish table. That’s not our decision and we can’t force you to take it. But neither will we exclude any Ulsterman who wants to take, Catholic or Protestant.

  • er, who is claiming FIFA’s decision isn’t final?

    We want FIFA to change the rules to defend the integrity of their own member associations.

  • lamhdearg

    linfield worlds most successful club, your point being?

  • lol.

  • NI fans are from a diverse range of backgrounds. NI players are from a diverse range of backgrounds.

    Especially in the past decade we have seen that diversity widen. I wish to maintain that growth.

    Whether it includes the ‘revolutionaries’ who have no intention of looking outside of their own little fanciful world I have no real interest one way or the other. My primary concern is the evolution of a team, and a real and effectual identity behind that team, that everyone in NI can be proud of.

  • That post bares no resemblance to the facts of the matter.

  • Norwood has a bloodline to NI therefore he is perfectly entitled under the usual FIFA rules.

    What’s more, he wasn’t a regular in the England setup, unlike Duffy, who also had a bloodline but remained in the NI team right up until senior level prior to jumping ship at the 2nd time of the FAI asking him.

  • for the benefit of those who don’t know how football began:

    The 4 home nation FAs are all older than FIFA. That is why you don’t have a single British team. The FAI split from the IFA in 1921, and asked FIFA to prevent the IFA from selecting southern Irish players in the 1950s.

    Today we see the FAI do that exact thing they lobbied FIFA to ban the IFA from 60 years ago.

  • we’ll see how long the FAI remains interested after his ‘usefulness’ to them has disappeared.

    “Good wee man Danny you did it for Ireland begorrah. Now don’t call us we’ll call you”

  • The Spectator

    So all that money the FA spent on his devlopment, just so he could jump ship, all means nothing so long as the journey is East to west rather than north to south?

    “Norwood has a bloodline to NI therefore he is perfectly entitled under the usual FIFA rules.”

    Where does the FIFA statutes mention ‘Bloodline’? Sounds a touch Mengele for my liking…

  • The Spectator

    “Conversely, FIFA says not all Jews can play for Israel, even though they are allowed it’s citizenship.”

    Except, SA sometimes they ARE allowed if they TAKE the citizenship. See Roberto Colautti – an argentinian who got in simply by marrying an isreali to acquire citizenship.

    And all of which is about aquiring a new nationality, not being born with the right to dual nationality from birth.

  • Mick Fealty

    TS, you always say that too.

  • Republic of Connaught

    It doesn’t change the fact England neither needs nor wants a ‘British’ team.

  • The Spectator

    Say what? That I’ll leave if you want me to? Why wouldn’t I? Is that not, just, like, manners?? Why the sarcasm?

    I said months ago i would leave if you wanted. It seemed to me you did, so I left. Completely. I even asked to have my account removed. I could hardly have been fairer than that! Are you suggesting I have been sockpuppetting here all along or something?

    This is my first, and quite probably last, time back since. I returned purely because of the story as i said, and even then i was wary of getting involved – I was genuinely keen to not interact here again – and you immediately seem to have a problem with me that I can’t for the life of me fathom. Is my wariness not justified?

    Of course, i could easily say you tend to get in a snit any time your ‘impartiality’ is challenged. Which frankly would be true. I could try some random sarcastic knowing enigmatic aside that nobody gets, and tell myself i’m clever. But really, Mick, it’s just…silly.

    I’ll put it as simply as I possibly can. What is your problem with me? Out of sheer curiosity, I’d be interested in knowing. And secondly, why does what little i have written justify the …. silly snitty asides rather than just straightforward answers.

  • lover not a fighter

    The FAI should make their apologies and say let bygones be bygones and ask the IFA to go back to having one team representing Ireland.

    Who does not forgive those who admit that they have erred !

  • Republic of Connaught

    Indeed, St.Etienne, you need to accept reality.

    The FAI team can now use players from the 32 counties. Fifa et all have rubber stamped it. Accept it and move on.

  • Alan Maskey

    St Etienne: Good wee man Danny you did it for Ireland begorrah,

    What is with the begorrah? I need not ask about equating nationalists with terrorists, ti use your terminology. but U\I figure they are connected.

    If you are so British, why not push for a British team? The so called home counties matches made sense when the Jocks could field a team. Those days are gone. Your wee Orange state does not have its own Olympic representation, so why should it have its own soccer team?
    Matt Le Tissier was born in Guernsey but played for England. C Islanders, being realists and being sure of their identity, wished him well.

    Why can you not do the same? Accept the fact that the videos linked above do not resonate with everyone. Let them go.

    Let’s say you had another George Best (or even a Seoirse Begorrah I love the Billy Boys Best. What difference would he make? Would the cause of the Union not be better served b y giving him to Mother England ( maybe in return for the subsidies).

    Finchley does not have its own international team. Why, begorrah, should you?

  • Alan Maskey

    JEB: Please excuse me as I did not see your post. Bradford was a British Israelite so the devil’s people got him.

    The videos linked above were all posted by Loyal Prods. What is it about you people and “Darkies”? Soon there will be a Black Pope. So what? And get the stuff about the Virgin Mary. And Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims are supposed to embrace that?

    Let’s leave all of that aside. Why do you want your own team? You have produced some great players: Best (among history’s greatest), Danny Blanchflower, Norman Whiteside. But they all would have been better off playing for Mother England.

    I was in deepest east Belfast in 1982, just when Gerry Armstrong screwed Spain. A lady came up to me and told me “Northern Ireland” had won. I smiled and went about my father’s business.

    And then there was the time NI won something or other in the Commonwealth games and the band didn’t know what to play. World wide joke that one.

    I think the RC Irish have a better attitude; I exclude doctrinaire Provies. The Irish, in general, accept, if not embrace defeat and can acknowledge when the other team is better. When they win, as ghey have in rugby, it is no big deal. (partly because ghey know what is coming)

    Our Linfield/Rangers inspired mob are different. In between insulting Muslims and Anglicans with their taunts about the Virgin Mary, they think, like the British Israelites, they are God’s chosen. And they really about their sad team.

    And about Rangers, who are currently on top of a dying league.

  • Brian MacAodh

    I have never met a ROI citizen who would be against one united team. It seems like northern protestants are alone in opposing it. If the FAI and IFA combined I believe it wouldn’t take long before everyone got firmly behind the idea.

    I certainly agree that players should have to decide at 18 which team to play for, so it isn’t just opportunism that decides where they go, but instead selk-identification with one nation or the other.

    BTW is someone who lives in Carndonagh “Northern Irish”, or just plain “Irish”

  • Anon

    TS

    Its bizarre. Between this and the Unionist thread I wasn’t sure if Mick was drunk, password hacked or tilting for a CUMBLA run.

  • stewart1

    Norwood was an English underage international who was poached by the IFA.

    I know this is difficult for you st_etienne but Shane Duffy, Darron Gibson, Marc Wilson etc..are Irish citizens and thus are fully eligible to play for Ireland. No parent or grandparent bloodline required unlike the large numbers of Englishmen currently swelling the ranks of the IFA underage teams.

    It’s ironic that the north’s fans mope constantly about Gibson etc..yet ignore their own associations methods of acquiring players from England.

    I think the percentage of English born players who play for your u17 & u19 teams currently stands at around 35%-40%, so in a few years time there probably won’t be room for any local talent in the team.

    Already we can see this happening with former England international Oliver Norwood & former Republic international John Gorman being drafted into the senior NI squad.

    But listen, you forget about the 25 plus English born players who have been brought into your underage squads over the last couple of years and continue to concentrate on a young Irishman from Lenadoon, if that’s what floats yer boat!!

  • MonkdeWallydeHonk

    JEB

    “It is just so pathetic why Irish Men from the Six Couties want to play for the 26 county team and leave their fellow Irish men playing for the other Irish country in which they were borne”

    Yeah, those damn taigs. Just because they had 30 odd years of sickening sectarianism from their “own” fans – as you would put it. They had an IFA that gave a ridiculous 100 year lease to a club that had at that time (and had had for decades) a blatent anti-Catholic sectarian signing policy.

    Even today, as some of the fair NI regular fans from “Our Wee Country” admit – there is still a sectarian element to the NI support.

    There are still plenty of Union Jacks (far more than at even an England game!). We have GSTQ with a rousing chorus of “No Surrender”. We have renditions of the Sash and “If you cannae do the bouncy you’re a taig”.

    Imagine a Catholic background not wanting to enjoy all that!

    After all the IFA efforts wasting time and money ( and alienating the very little progess they had made within the Nationalist community), the rules are now clear.

    Frankly if you don’t like them that’s tough.

    If Catholic/Nationalist supporters (and players)hadn’t been treated like shite by the NI support – while the IFA stood idly by – for 30 odd years, maybe you wouldn’t have this problem.

    I admire the efforts of some in the NI support – the honest ones who admit that it was a disgrace and have made big improvements. They also admit on “Our Wee Country” that there are still issues as some on this topic have also admitted.

    I haven’t once seen you address the issue of the blatent sectarianism of the NI support for many years. You seem to be one of those who think that it’s all great now – well it isn’t as a lot of the regulars admit.

    The fact is that anyone born in the North has been given their right to opt for the RoI and many will exercise it.

    The truth is that, in the past, Catholic players (particularly Celtic players) have had to listen to disgusting sectarian abuse/chants – see AMs post (your opinion of him doesn’t alter the truth of what’s on those clips!) along with the Billy Boys, the Sash etc.

    Are you aware of the well documented behaviuor of NI “fans” in the 94 match against the RoI?

    In the past, if Catholic players wanted to play international football they had no choice but to opt for NI.

    Now they do.

    If a Catholic from the North has a chance to play for a better team, with no sectarian baggage and a genuine fottball for all mentality ( not just lip service) then it’s hardly a surprise when they choose to take it.

    The blame for this sits with the behaviour of the NI “fans” over 30 odd years, the IFA and those who excuse either or both!.

    FFS stop whinging and do something about it. If you fail to make changes such as a neutral anthem., flag etc then the rush to join the FAI will only increase.

    Personally, I don’t give a shit what NI does. I’m just telling it like it is.

    The NI Support/IFA can either adapt or watch as the talent drain increases.

    They caused the problem so it’s up to them to do something about it.

  • John East Belfast

    Monk

    The only one on here doing serious whinging is yourself.

    As for Catholics crying off to the ROI because of a minority of bigots you do no justice to the names of Jennings, O’Neill and Armstrong among a few.
    They could distinguish the difference between true fans and the type you try to tar all NI Fans as

    For what it is worth sectarianism has been all but removed from Windsor Park – more say I would say than that would exist at Landsdowne if Emgland played there or any Rangers players.

    And for what it is worth I have been fully supportive of all such anti sectarian efforts and I am long on record as asking for a new NI anthem

  • sammaguire

    @st etienne

    “No one outside of that projected ethnicity will sign up for it. No one has done. Ergo a team of nationalists.”

    Alan Kernaghan?

  • Scamallach

    “if England played there”

    Well now, that’s just pure speculation on your part. As you know, England haven’t played there since 1995 when they couldn’t take getting beaten so decided to wreck the place. So until they next turn up we can’t possibly say how they would be received.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    JEB

    Fair enough on the neutral anthem etc. As I said, I genuinely applaud the efforts of those in the NI support who have moved things on. However, despite their efforts, we still have GSTQ and “No Surrender” etc.

    Please don’t try and say that it wasn’t that bad in the 70s and 80s. Big Pat is a quiet gentleman but he and Martin O’Neill have both commented about sectarian abuse.

    I went to a NI v England match in the late 70s. At one point (after a couple of substitutions) the “Kop” and large sections of the stand started cheering “Come on the 7”.

    Frankly, I had no idea what this meant (and I knew better than to draw attention to the fact that I was a Catholic at an NI match!). However, there was an older English guy sitting behind us and he asked one of the guys ( in a business suit BTW) chanting this what it meant. The reply was that 7 of the NI players currently on the pitch “dig with the right foot” – which was greated by massive laughter from all the people sitting around him.

    My Dad is a very quiet moderate man but he couldn’t take any more after that and never went to another NI match – I wish I hadn’t!

    Incidentally I notice you didn’t mention the treatment that either Anton Rogan or Neil Lennon got – why would that be?

    What about the IFA and the 100 year Linfield lease – no comment on that either?

    By the way , it goes a lot deeper than the NI soccer team anyway. I think you are smart enough to understand that many Catholics have no affinity with this “state” due to decades of Unionist misrule, gerrymandering etc.

    And if you try to claim that politics and sport don’t mix – why did the IFA turn a blind eye to Linfield’ s discrimination for decades and reward them with ridiculous contracts.?

    Anyway, you are welcome to delude yourself.

    My prediction is that the vast majority of Catholic players from the North will opt for the RoI now that the IFA’s ridiculous and expensive efforts at denying them have been crushed. The only ones that may go with NI are those that frankly have little chance of getting in the RoI team (which is clearly much better).

    It seems clear to me that, if the IFA persist with GSTQ and the Union Jack etc , then this prediction will undoubtedly come to pass.

    The attitude of Catholics to NI and it’s soccer team has been forged in decades of discrimination – check history books for details.

    It’s up to the IFA and NI Supporters to take action to limit this outward flow of talent but they have a long way to go.

    Frankly, I’m glad to see any potential good player from the North opt for the RoI. If the IFA and NI support don’t want to change anything and ignore the problem , that suits me fine.

    I know the Nattonalist/Catholic community a lot better than you.

    I’m just telling you what the prevailing attitude is and why it is.

    You can deny the past if it suits you – I don’t care and it doesn’t change anything.

  • Hopping The Border

    Couldn’t think of his name Sam, thanks!!

    Any idea where you’ll be headed in september after this weekends results?

  • Hopping The Border

    Is that the IFA’s contention or not?

  • The only ones that may go with NI are those that frankly have little chance of getting in the RoI team (which is clearly much better).

  • Incidentally I notice you didn’t mention the treatment that either Anton Rogan or Neil Lennon got – why would that be?

    Because they’ve been superseded by Paddy McCourt and the soon to be legendary Niall McGinn. Both Celtic, both playing with pride at Windsor.

    Your ‘long memory’ obviously means you can’t remember what’s going on right now

  • Neil

    Because they’ve been superseded by Paddy McCourt and the soon to be legendary Niall McGinn. Both Celtic, both playing with pride at Windsor.

    Fair play to them, that’s their choice. Just like Kearns and others can now choose who to represent. I would imagine that Nationalists in general will respect Kearns’/McCourt’s/MgGinn’s decisions.

  • They had an IFA that gave a ridiculous 100 year lease to a club that had at that time (and had had for decades) a blatent anti-Catholic sectarian signing policy.

    hate to point out the obvious but it was the government that forced them to accept the lease in return for the building of the North Stand, which remains government property.

  • There are still plenty of Union Jacks (far more than at even an England game!). We have GSTQ with a rousing chorus of “No Surrender”. We have renditions of the Sash and “If you cannae do the bouncy you’re a taig”.

    Oh dear. Which Union flag was it that caught your attention? The one coloured green, white & blue?

    The Sash has never been sung in the past 10 years.

    I have never heard the ‘taig’ one at Windsor.

    Have you been to Windsor? If you have you’re just lying, if you haven’t you’re talking out of your arse…

  • Personally, I don’t give a shit what NI does. I’m just telling it like it is.

    With all due respect – which isn’t much – I don’t think anyone’s interested in your bigoted rantings.

  • Just like Kearns and others can now choose who to represent.

    They’ve been doing this for a while. And to be honest, the overwhelming opinions espoused by the ‘voices of nationalism’ on here completely ignores the fact that McGinn, etc even exist.

    Besides, it’s not a matter for politically motivated people to respect/disrespect; it’s none of their business. It’s down to the football authorities to maintain the legitimacy of their member associations. In this case they’ve singularly failed to do so by allowing one association a free run over the entire playing pool of the other.

    And in a sectarian fashion to top things off.

  • Charminator

    St Etienne:

    You commented:
    “Because they’ve been superseded by Paddy McCourt and the soon to be legendary Niall McGinn. Both Celtic, both playing with pride at Windsor.”

    Your point seems to be that young Nationalist/Republican lads are presently – and will into the future – opt to play for ‘NI’.

    Then, the CAS ruling is unimportant, you have nothing to fear from their also being eligible to represent Ireland, and you should feel very secure and content that, whatever mischief you feel the FAI were trying to create, ‘NI’ is safe with the loyalty and goodwill of mass numbers of Republicans/Nationalists too….

    Right?

    That is, unless in a particularly negative manner, you’re seeking to hold up Nationalists/Republicans to members of their own community as those that buck the trend and switch to the other side, which I’d assume your not, assuming too that you’re a person motivated by goodwill, rather than ill-will. If you are, of course, it’s hardly a very tactful way to encourage broader loyalty and support for ‘NI’, particularly in light of a judgment which now makes it clear that CHOICE not compulsion is the mantra of the day.

  • The FAI can select all Irish nationalists.

    Big difference between that and all Irishmen – unless you’re one of the blind bigots who refuse to listen to such heresy.

  • lol. A man who couldn’t play for NI due to the IFA’s own strict adherence to NI born players. And I guess GAA is a mixed sport because Sam Maguire was a prod?

    The fact remains – a team of Irish nationalists.

  • So i presume if some arrangement was reached, the IFA will also have to pay a realistic fee to the English FA for their long term investment in NI player Oliver Norwood.?

    Long term investment? He played two games at U-16 schoolboy level. Are you going to attempt to compare that with a player like Duffy, who ran off after playing in EVERY Northern Ireland team, once the RoI did enough to convince him to leave at the 2nd time of asking?

  • Neil

    It’s down to the football authorities to maintain the legitimacy of their member associations. In this case they’ve singularly failed to do so by allowing one association a free run over the entire playing pool of the other.

    Allowed IMO is the wrong word, tehy’ve taken the same view of things as yourself and taken it to every available court to fight for the interests of their association.

    But the fact remains that Nationalists here have been of the opinion that we should have the choice to represent who we please, and this opinion has been backed by CAS, FIFA etc. Maybe, as dissappointing as it is, we were right all along? Maybe not,

    And I’m sure people from both traditions will continue to declare for NI and best of luck to them.

  • This ruling has nothing to do with the GFA, other than the fact the FAI is going against it’s spirit by attacking the shared future ethos.

  • Watcher

    Define “pride”….

    All that NI offers is a chance for international football that footballers at that point in time would not have had otherwise.

    Coming from the Irish leagues, you wouldn’t usually expect to be good enough for the Republic, so obviously they thought it was a good opportunity for them to get international football. Obviously they have both progressed since.

    If they were now offered the CHOICE I think they would be much happier playing in the wonderful Aviva stadium, not listening to GSTQ etc, playing when no-one cares about background etc.

    But in any event I’m 100% certain that both would much prefer to have an all-island team.

  • er, I’m guessing as a member association and one who sits on the permanent rule decision body that yes, that is the IFA’s ‘contention’ as well.

    Still waiting on you to explain your view on the loyalist mobs keeping NI players from playing for the Republic back in the day. Could do with a laugh.

  • Interesting that you know the political make up of the association that organises football here.

    For the record, no one is forced to do anything. Ever.

    This is about maintaining the authority of football associations in their respective areas.

  • Where does the FIFA statutes mention ‘Bloodline’?

    Er, the bit where they say you’re allowed to play for a country if you or your parents/grandparents have the the required nationality…

  • I know this is difficult for you st_etienne but Shane Duffy, Darron Gibson

    don’t confuse Duffy with Gibson.

    Duffy has the bloodline, and while he has every right to switch, the stage he did it at, when he was in the full squad, was a disgraceful way to treat a team he was apparently happy with.

    Gibson on the other hand never had a link other than the free to all passport. It’s this technicality that FIFA SHOULD draw the line in the sand over. Instead they let this loophole go, and allow one association to effectively attempt to ransack the other. Notably they moved to exclude Jews who could declare for Israel in similar circumstances.

    And as regards Kearns, lets see how quick the FAI lose interest in him now he’s outlived his usefulness.

  • Anon

    Then it’ll all be fine and chill the hell out, st e.

  • If you are born a Jew you have a right to Israeli citizenship should you wish.

    If you are born in NI you have a right to RoI citizenship should you wish.

    How you get there is a technicality. Both make a mockery of the international game.

  • It hardly makes the FAI’s attempts to establish itself as a team of nationalists any less worse than it is.

  • and neither do the other 3 associations. Your point being?

  • Hopping The Border

    A couple of points.

    1. What argument are you talking about? The official name of the 26 county state is Ireland as stated in the constitution – the 1948 act merely changed its description to ROI. Similarly, the FAI asserts the team is Ireland, but it is referred to by FIFA as ROI for purposes of distinction.

    2. I’m not a Birmingham fan so its unlikely I’ll be able to ask where Maik Taylor’s grandparents were born, but according to the BelTel it would be irrelevant – http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/international/taylor-is-still-true-to-northern-ireland-cause-14068248.html

    3. If you are going to refer me to FIFA’s specific guidelines, perhaps you’d provide me the link. And you still haven’t explained how Deco and Eduardo Da Silva meet your bloodline criteria?

  • I’m merely surmising the majority of your sectarian murder gibes and trying to work out exactly why you expect us to listen to anything you say.

    So why should we?

  • Ok, let’s revert back to the one united Irish team of old?

    Home games at Windsor, GSTQ anthem, it’s Ireland now though so Patrick’s Saltier instead.

    Deal?

  • er, McGinn and McCourt play for Celtic in the SPL…

    And most start in the Irish League teams at some level so your point just seems lost.

    But hey, great that you can read their mind. Having your own opinion and attempting to pass it off as someone elses?

    Funny how nationalists commenters are quick to tell everyone what their opinions should be.

    That’s the problem with living in the fantasy world though. Stay there long enough you think you can make a wish and put others there too.

  • If they took the same view as myself they would have ruled against the FAI the same way they ruled against the Israel FA.

  • Hardly. The FIFA decision means the FAI have free reign on the entire playing pool of another association. Obviously this is predatory and should not be allowed, nevermind the obvious political games it’s creates.

    My point was made against the ridiculous argument that Windsor is a ‘cold house’ for members of one side of the community, and the subsequent argument that there is some sort of moral imperative to allow said players play for another association, kind of like DCFC in the LoI.

    This is obviously not the case, so should not form part of the argument. Said it before, will say it again – NI has both British and Irish symbols in it’s football team. In this way the team reflects that of the community it draws it’s players from.

    People using the dark days of the troubles when there was a lot going on far worse than crowd control on the terraces are missing the point here – that this is about the association who’s jurisdiction is NI being treated as an equal partner at FIFA and not a surrogate child.

  • JM

    St. Etienne

    NI is already privileged in that it is part of one country that has four associations – hardly a level playing ground!

  • Watcher

    Beautifully displays Mr McNarry’s wonderful forward thinking and enlightened approach.

    Unbelievable.

  • Er, yes it is. These 4 associations are founder members of FIFA. without these 4 associations there would be no association football.

    Besides, none of the 4 associations stand accused of meddling in eachother’s well defined jurisdictions are they?

  • Watcher

    I wonder would the current crop of NI players favour an all-island team?

    That is, with neutral anthem and alternating games between Dublin and Belfast?

  • Hopping The Border

    “all players born within Northern Ireland’s borders who do not have parents or grandparents born in the 26 counties are required to play for NI irrespective of the fact that they are automatically entitled to Irish citizenship and thus eligible to choose between playing for ROI or NI”

    The above was the IFA’s contention I was referring to. Is this an accurate representation of it?

    As I said, it may have been a possibility regarding death threats.

  • Not sure but you could join those who wonder about an all-isles team and share the same asylum together.

  • Alan Maskey

    Er, yes it is. These 4 associations are founder members of FIFA. without these 4 associations there would be no association football.
    St Etienne: I feel your pain. However, association football was codified at least a decade before the FA and its little 3 little brothers met. The rules owe nothing to that meeting and the (English with no name) FA is obviously the boss. Modern association football is not beholden to 19th century masons. The little brothers were there to make up the numbers. They should now merge; this would allow the historical bragging to continue.

    I might sign up for the IFA however, If I do not join the RIR first.
    http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regiments/3409.aspx I note how they have hijacked Irish symbols too. Still, one admires the undoubted bravery of “our boys”.
    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/tna/+/http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/RoyalIrishSoldiersHonouredForHelmandHeroics.htm

    even if they have to poach from Fijians to make up the numbers.

  • stewart1

    The IFA seem to be doing plenty of meddling in England, like poaching large numbers of English players.

  • Watcher

    Are you David McNarry?

    We have already had an all-ireland team play, we have an all-island soccer tournament, we have northern players playing for Ireland.

    Move beyond your narrow viewpoint – there is a big world out there.

  • Peter Fyfe

    They both represented Northern Ireland before they joined Celtic, and I hope they have every success. You either don’t know much about the players though or you were deliberately avoiding Watcher’s point regarding them thinking they wouldn’t make it.

  • JM

    No, the British Assocations were not founder members of FIFA. The founding Associations of FIFA in Paris in 1904 (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) were the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Also, that same day, the German Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram. The first President of FIFA was Robert Guerin.

    Interesting, the British Associations withdrew from FIFA post the 1st World War for a while (would not play against their former enemies).

  • Peter Fyfe

    JEB and St Etienne

    I am a Celtic fan so you two will probably not consider my view too important. As a result of a international agreement between two countries nationalists in Northern Ireland had their right to Irish citizenship confirmed although it was always possible and recognized in Ireland. This makes them eligible to play international football for that country in the same way Eduardo is Croation or Deco is Portuguese. Although John, I don’t imagine any of them will become president like our own dear Belfast ‘foreigner’ who was elected as head of state of a country she doesn’t belong to. A note to any of you that may be older I am a similar age to these two, My memories of Northern Irish football are not of O’Neill, Armstrong and Jennings but Lennon and Greysteel 7 Ireland 0. It may be easier to stick your head in the sand and ignore these points but the younger generation of footballers remember O’Neill as a manager and not a player or Armstrong as that Spanish pundit and not the goalscorer in ’82.

    I know plenty of young nationalists that just have no feeling towards the North when it comes to football but they probably could be quietly persuaded over time but not by this sham of appeal after appeal. I am a Celtic man who would have rather see McGinn and McCourt play well and win for the north despite that cheat Kyle Lafferty’s appearance in the same team.

    John, please tell what is wrong with a country only allowing you to be their head of state? Of course a state that we are in an economic union with and has no barriers to entry so what would be the need for any other agreement? Is it not enough that country clearly values us more than the state we now reside in?

    For anybody that says this is going to make football more sectarian when it comes to here, they will have a hard job on their hands.

  • lol. On what planet did you start that comment from? I suppose the Celtic cup is the first step to an all-isle team then no doubt.

    what we actually have is a Northern Irish team that doesn’t discriminate among it’s players – you can be British or Irish, both are allowed to be used for a player’s identity so long as they are Northern Irish by birth, descent or residency.

    We also have an RoI team who select any Irishman so long as they have a single identity – in this case an Irish one not a British one.

    It is the single biggest creation of division in the sport since the single-religion clubs common prior to and during the troubles.

  • sorry you lost me at the mention of masonry

  • I am a Celtic fan so you two will probably not consider my view too important.

    lol @ the attempted self-martyrdom.

    A note to any of you that may be older I am a similar age to these two, My memories of Northern Irish football are not of O’Neill, Armstrong and Jennings but Lennon and Greysteel 7 Ireland 0

    I’m sure you are aware of the simultaneous IRA chanting emanating from a similar minority of RoI fans that same night then? Obviously both ugly aberrations but as I said before there was a lot worse in the Troubles – like that of the murders themselves….

    Lennon was in every respect the last hurrah for the boo boys. Turned up for that game in the Kop with a Lurgan Rangers flag and never came back. Good riddance.

    I assume you can move on too. After all, your own players very much have.

  • Alan Maskey

    St E: The FA’s founding meetings were4 in the Freemasons’ hall

    Peter: Commiserations for being a Celtic fan.

  • Anon

    You are confused. IFA players select those that are eligible via a British passport and residency rules as this passport does encompass multiple associations. There was a fuss about using Irish Passports a while back, but they are being used as a proxy for British ones. This should please you! Northen Ireland is British. FAI picks from anyone with an Irish Passport. It’s a citixzenship rule.

    You are actually freaking out about the wrong thing. This is what will happen. At some point, the Republic will qualify for a major championship. Euros 2016 and on are the most likely, but they’ve a shot at the next Euros and the next WC. NI’s are a bit slimmer, and they won’t qualify. The next Johnny Evans will appear, the FAI will approach and he’ll pick the team that lets him play in major tournaments. If this occurs with any regularity, NI is a B team. Allt he FAI only goes for nationalists is a smoke screen. they would pick Satanists if they held Irish Passports. They’ll sound people out first and they have done so in the past and been knocked back, AFAIK – Chris Baird maybe?

    Sure, there’ll be players who’d chose NI over playing for God. It’s the same for any country. But history indicates most footballers are moreconcerned with 1. money 2. fame 3. playing in top tournaments.

    A split across sectarian line is really not the worst option for you.

  • Peter Fyfe

    Thank you, I will need some again on Wednesday night no doubt.

  • I am a Celtic fan so you two will probably not consider my view too important.

    apart from a fairly obvious attempt at self-martyrdom I’m unaware why you’d think that?

    You bring up the sectarian chanting at the 1-1 draw in ’93. Presumably you’d also condemn the IRA chants that emanated from the away fans. As contemptible as both were, they happened against a backdrop of murder and bombing – something which was there in ’82 but largely no longer repubicans accepted, so I don’t think that comparison is valid.

    Regarding Lennon, that episode was very much the last hurrah for the boo boys. A group that huddled together a minority in the Kop around a Rangers Lurgan flag and haven’t been seen since – proven by the appearance once again of Celtic men carrying on their great tradition of NI representation at senior level. Good riddance to the neanderthals.

    Sad that Lennon left under the circumstances he did, but to be frank it’s not as if I haven’t heard Lurgan Bhoys say a bad word about him, because I have. He seems to have a knack of attracting controversy. But I digress.

    I hope when it gets built that you come to watch your heroes – McGinn especially so – play for NI when the capacity eventually gets increased.

  • fair enough – still the point stands – FIFA descends from these home associations.

  • No – the IFA can pick anyone with dual nationality from NI. It does not discriminate on which passport a player decides they have.

  • Thon Eejit

    maybe players of any religion or none would wish to play for RoI in the hope of being on a team that might stand a chance of winning something

  • Fair one – though the point still stands, FIFA is a creation of the home associations, not the other way round.

  • I am a Celtic fan so you two will probably not consider my view too important.

    Why apart from attempted self-martyrdom would you say that?

    I note you refer to days when the bullets and bombs were still going off. And a match that contained equally sectarian chanting from RoI fans sitting in the Away section of the ground. I don’t believe either is the way ahead obviously, but the context in ’93 had more in common with ’82 than it does with today.

    I note you also reference Lennon. While the guys who huddled together in a section of the Kop with their Lurgan Rangers flag boo’ed him, undoubtedly this was their last hurrah. They haven’t been seen since and good riddance.

    As proven by the reception of your stars of today. I hope they both get a fair crack at the whip in Parkhead this season.

    btw Slugger – is there a limit to the number of comments you can make on any one article?

  • John East Belfast

    Peter

    “John, please tell what is wrong with a country only allowing you to be their head of state?”

    The State you think you belong to and the one as a six county nationalists that you would like to be Head of doesnt exist – ie there is no 32 County Irish State

    What instead you are opting to be a citisen of is the ROI or 26 counties.

    As a six county Irish Man myself I find that a snub and an insult to be honest.

    You are no less Irish playing for NI and no more Irish playing for ROI.

    In terms of FIFA they should have acknowledged the ambiguous “pointing in both directions” waffle of the GFA and as they have two Associations on the island stuck by their own eligibility criteria.

    My beef with the FAI is their incredible bad faith.
    Firstly they were the body that divided Irish soccer on the island in the first place and then they were the body who first complained to FIFA about the eligibility criteria. The result of the latter was a 50 year gentleman’s agreement not to piss in each other’s pond. Something they have now turned their back on.

    In addition you cannot jump the gun on an All Ireland team without following due process involving FIFA the two legitimate Irish Associations and the respective fans.
    For the FAI and certain Northern Irish nationalist players and fans to give the two fingers to that process is also considerable bad faith.

    To genuine Norn Iron fans like myself we are pissed off and if you considered yourself in the opposite position I think you would agree this is not an unreasonable position to hold ?

  • Peter Fyfe

    So Mary McAleese is not part of that state? I, like her, was born in the North but have lived in both North and South. I know who I belong to John, I don’t need you telling me. The state is also called Ireland not ROI. That is a football team that represents the state.

    And yes I would be very pissed of if I was not given the choice to my nationality, thankfully I have been whether others like it or not. Like most people I prefer choice than to have an identity forced upon me. It is central to this argument.

    As I say the the real issues are young nationalists views of NI, I pointed out the memories from my childhood, these court actions go nowhere near addressing them. Turning Windsor in to a mini Ibrox won’t help either. Maybe the IFA should look at a long term solution to this problem which I know they started on. These latest cases have not helped though. I was shaped by what I saw growing up, future generations wont have the Greysteel 7 Ireland 0. They may even remember McGinn or McCourt and want to watch them play. Its a long term game though, serious football fans don’t tend to be too fickle with who they support so you will not see a switch over night.

    Once again it will be a choice for the player and quite a young man at that, so give them a break.

  • John East Belfast

    Peter

    Mary McAleese was born in the same state as me.

    The ROI jurisdiction doesnt extend beyond the border. They can make I suppose whoever they like a citisen – but it is a citisen of their jurisdiction – the 26 counties.

    Therefore when you opt to paly for the ROI that is exactly who you are playing for
    As I said before the sum total of your citisen rights are a passport, become President and now play for their football team.
    As I aid I really dont know what motivates a Six County nationailist to want to play for a team that represents the 26 counties and turn their backs on their fellow 6 county Irishmen

    As for “Greysteele and “Mini Ibrox” you are only highlighting your own ignorance about the current NI football support

  • Charminator

    Thanks St Etienne.

    “Said it before, will say it again – NI has both British and Irish symbols in it’s football team. In this way the team reflects that of the community it draws it’s players from.”

    I simply don’t know enough to disagree with you regarding the culture of the IFA, its supporters’ behaviour, etc, but if you’re right, then you have nothing to worry about. The predatory advances of the FAI will be rejected, as the IFA have already captured the hearts and minds of both of the North’s communities. From some of your other posts, I’d be a little less confident of that actually being the case, but, like I said, I’m not sufficiently familiar with the IFA to pass comment.

    What I can say is if a similar ruling were made against the FAI (ie that all southern born players could opt to play for NI), I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit concerned. And for much the same reasons as you are indicating to me.

    So bottom line: if indeed the IFA has many Nationalists, as you’ve cited above playing for it, if indeed it has ‘both British and Irish symbols’, has a sufficiently broad culture, fans’ behaviour is neither bigoted or offensive to other identities, then forget about the CAS judgement: the IFA has something better, the unflinching loyalty of both the Nationalist/Republican and Unionist/Loyalist communities.

  • Charminator

    John East Belfast:

    “As I said I really dont know what motivates a Six County nationailist to want to play for a team that represents the 26 counties and turn their backs on their fellow 6 county Irishmen.”

    Really? Haven’t you taken the opportunity of this board to educate yourself even remotely on Republican/Nationalist thinking? I’ve certainly tried my level best.

    They are not ‘Six County’ nationalists, as you say, nor even ’26 county nationalist’, they are ‘Irish Nationalists’. Now, whether you like the term, dispute the term, take historical offence at it, is really neither here nor there. It’s their sense of their own identity and it’s their right to describe as they choose, not as you choose.

    As I’ve said before too, this judgment enshrines the CHOICE to represent either one’s British or Irish identity on the field of play. It fulfils very fully the underlying respect for both identities which lies at the heart of the GFA arrangements. They IFA instead sought to COMPEL adoption of an identity. If the IFA cannot gain Nationalist or Republican loyalty through their goodwill and efforts alone, then do not try to COMPEL it. It smacks of an authoritarianism which the Stormont regime was quite skilled at, but has no place in modern ‘NI’ or, as you remain determined to say, ‘ROI’.

    By the way, in case you are unaware, your own British Govt adopts the style Ireland too, not Republic of Ireland and accepts the style of the Irish Govt as Govt of Ireland, not Govt of Republic of Ireland. Your persistent inaccuracy on this matter is no doubt an historical hangover. As we’ve seen elsewhere, modern British Govt have proven themselves remarkably adroit at ensuring stable Anglo-Irish relations.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    St Etienne

    “Because they’ve been superseded by Paddy McCourt and the soon to be legendary Niall McGinn. Both Celtic, both playing with pride at Windsor”

    Good for them – I’m a Celtic fan and I have no problem with that. As I said before, if a player opts for NI over RoI, that’s their choice and good luck to them. At that point my international interest in them ends and we move on. I’ll still cheer on Paddy McCourt and Niall for Celtic and I wish them good luck with NI (as long as they are not playing us).

    That’s the difference! I RESPECT the choices players make even if they go against what I would like. It’s the whingers on here who hold grudges against players who opt not to play for NI that have a problem.

    As regards who is the better team, I didn’t even bother to look at your clip. I just go by world rankings and recent results.

    When NI were on a great run under Sanchez and Ireland weren’t going well, there was a period when NI were higher in the rankings for a year or so. There was no end of gloating on “Our Wee Country” – and fair enough. However, now Ireland are higher and have been for quite some time so that’s good enough for me.

    If there was match between them tomorrow , we would be odds on to win with every bookie.

    If you choose to believe otherwise that’s fine, but the facts and statistics say differently.

  • Anon

    No, an Irish passport only qualifies you for the ROI team. If British citizenship was renounced, a player could not play for NI.

    FIFA’s rules are based on citizenship. For NI, this is British.

  • Paul

    “They’ll sound people out first and they have done so in the past and been knocked back, AFAIK – Chris Baird maybe?”

    So the FAI make the first move and not the player as is frequently alleged? Do they check where the player went to school and his religion first before putting out the feelers? No Hun have been approached since Baird.

  • George

    “What I can say is if a similar ruling were made against the FAI (ie that all southern born players could opt to play for NI), I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit concerned. And for much the same reasons as you are indicating to me.”

    Allowing the IFA to pick southern born players so that both associations could select from the whole island was offered as a possible compromise last year. It was rejected by the IFA.

  • Anon

    Paul

    Why would it be anything other than a combination of both?

    So Baird now doesn’t count because, um, you want to label the FAI sectarian. Perhaps their scouting has been great. No idea how they do it, though given they’ll have contacts all over the show (even just due to Irish players in clubs), it shouldn’t particularly hard to get a feel on the QT.

    But anyway, if the FAI is doing a sectarian policy it is stupid, and the long run Protestants will be approached too. The fact that some might accept should worry you more.

  • Paul

    Why would it be anything other than a combination of both?

    “So Baird now doesn’t count because, um, you want to label the FAI sectarian.”

    One Hun approached out of a dozen plus Northern Ireland born players seems to indicate selection is being made on grounds other than playing ability, yes.

    If the defence is that they’re not approaching the “wrong sort” because they fear they’ll get the knock back, how does that differ from the Rangers defence in the 1970s “We don’t ask catholics to play for us because they don’t want to”.

    ” Perhaps their scouting has been great. No idea how they do it, though given they’ll have contacts all over the show (even just due to Irish players in clubs), it shouldn’t particularly hard to get a feel on the QT.”

    1. The player’s birthplace is checked
    2. The player’s “community background” (euphemism alert) is checked
    3. The player’s quality is rated.

    “But anyway, if the FAI is doing a sectarian policy it is stupid, and the long run Protestants will be approached too. The fact that some might accept should worry you more.”

    Well if they do, then that will prove sectarianism isn’t a factor in the FAI’s selection policy. Might prove me wrong but in the bigger scheme of things I think it would be amore healthy approach don’t you?

  • Anon

    Why, as a ROI supporter, would I NOT want the best players? If this is the case, it’ll break down.

    And no, it doesn’t indicate anything. As I said, the FAI will approach but there’ll be others that will let it be known they want to go that route. That will skew the results. Further informal feelers will knock out some others. You are using a correlation in ways that are ill advised.

  • Hopping The Border

    Where did I profess to have knowledge of the political makeup of the IFA?

    Although in saying that, given that GSTQ is played at matches when the team that represents the IFA plays, one would certainly form an opinion on it.

    Also, are there any orangemen(you know, that organisation that is anti-roman catholic and pro british?) occupying senior positions in the IFA?

    And you say no one is forced to do anything – but were the IFA successful would not any six county born person wanting to play football at international level have to play for NI?

    Again I’ll ask you, is this a fair reflection of the IFA’s position –
    “all players born within Northern Ireland’s borders who do not have parents or grandparents born in the 26 counties are required to play for NI irrespective of the fact that they are automatically entitled to Irish citizenship and thus eligible to choose between playing for ROI or NI”

  • JM

    St Etienne

    “Fair one – though the point still stands, FIFA is a creation of the home associations, not the other way round.”

    I’d argue otherwise. Without FIFA and the other European countries, Association Football would be no where. The Home Nations tried to destroy FIFA after the 1st World War by refusing to play with other countries when sport could have been used to heal war wounds. If they had succeeded, there would have been no South American countries playing the sport. Ex-British colonies (India, Australia etc.) have hardly taken to the game, have they? Whereas Brazil, Argentina have lit up the tournament. A far greater contribution to the sport – yet Portugal, Spain, Italy have just one team representing their country.