|Jennings launches the Carling Nations Cup|
Although the round robin tournament in theory offers a change from endless rounds of stultifying international friendlies, now is not the time to taking part in a new enterprise with the FAI. The breakaway association has demonstrated time and time again that it doesn’t respect the IFA’s remit.
There is widespread scepticism among Northern Ireland fans about this Celtic competition, which will feature the original Ireland team, the breakaway Catholic Irish team, Wales and Scotland. Indeed the idea of a boycott has already been bandied about.
A match played against the breakaway side, with Northern Ireland fans understandably fuming at that association’s incorrigible behaviour, is a bad idea. A piecemeal boycott is an equally untenable proposition. The IFA should immediately withdraw from the competition in protest at their treatment. The problem is that it has no backbone.