IFA: Court case for Irish, ‘understanding’ for English

One thing Slugger loves is a blog on football allegiances, so here you go…

Today English teenager Adam Barton withdrew from the northern ireland football squad facing Italy and the Faroe Islands in the European qualifiers.

Yesterday the north’s manager had declared:

If players don’t want to represent Northern Ireland, it doesn’t matter how good or how bad they are, that’s up to them and good luck to them. It’s not a problem for Northern Ireland.

“I focus on the ones who want to be with us, not those who want to be elsewhere. I don’t lose any sleep over them.

As Barton withdrew from the northern squad, as he has previously done at U19/21 level, to keep his options open for possible selection to the England squad in future, the IFA expressed disappointment but understanding:

I am disappointed with the decision; however I fully understand Adam’s situation.

The IFA attitude to a player seeking some future career with England stands in stark contrast to failed legal action they launched to prevent Irish players representing the republic.

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  • William Markfelt

    Maybe, like Duffy, Wilson, Gibson, etc, they identify with Northern Ireland. So that’s all right then,

  • USA

    JEB,
    Get over yourself. They are Irish and can play for either Irish team, that is a reality. You seem to be more interested in trying to make political points rather than scoring sporting ones.

  • USA

    ROI and NI….cause i’m a football fan, not an arsehole.

  • Paul

    Well, well, there you go.
    I’m actually pleasantly surprised that someone within the IFA had the gumption to track down so many who can play for us.

    I’d love to think thye’re all playing for us because of a love of NI but suspect for at least some the mercenary motive, so beloved of the modern professional football player, is the main determining factor.

    In the perfect world, it wouldn’t be so, but we’ve got to work in the world we are- might even work to our advantage when those born in NI considering a jump to the ROI start realising that if the best by far player to defect s getting splinters in his arse from sitting so long on the bench then they have zero chance of “gracing” the international stage.

  • Alan N/ARDS

    Sammy

    I take it back. That was a considerate piece of writing. I will hold my hands up and say I was wrong to generalise about people from the nationalist tradition. It is good to see someone from your tradition actually realising the lack of respect shown by the IRFU towards unionist’s. Fair play to you. When will the republican politicians who bang on about parity of esteem for republicans’s in NI start campaigning for the same for unionist’s with the IRFU? It doesn’t surprise me that the shinners are quiet abouit it. But the silence from the SDLP is deafening.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Alan N/ARDS,

    Ta.

    Re. SF and the SDLP yes very disappointing – I was hoping at least some of them would explain their position but they didnt show.

  • Paul

    I missed it n’all, good piece. Showed it to my cousin who has been one of Ireland’s most loyal fans (despite living in one of Ireland’s most Loyal areas, if you know what I mean), it was appreciated.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Paul,

    thanks for that – stick a commnet on it – and we’ll see if anyone from my side of the fence has now got anything to say.

  • William Markfelt

    Here’s a question for all of you different code football fans out there.

    Who has a Champions League Medal, a World Cup Winners Medal, and played gaelic football in Meath?

  • Watcher

    JEB,

    That “very weird reason” is because almost 50% of people in the north are Irish.

    Sin e

  • Watcher

    Oh my God – I thought this was a joke initially.

    If ever there was an argument for an all-island team, this is it…

  • John East Belfast

    Watcher

    “That “very weird reason” is because almost 50% of people in the north are Irish.”

    Actually 100% of the people in the north are Irish.
    Remember the IFA is the Irish FA and NI play in green too.

    You are no less Irish being in NI as you are no less Scottish living in Glasgow