Friday, 13 August 2010

IFA carries on regardless with the Celtic Cup

Jennings launches the Carling Nations Cup
In the aftermath of recent events, I’m disappointed to see that the Irish Football Association obviously still intends to send a team to take part in the ‘Carling Nations Cup’, hosted by the FAI next February.  Yesterday Pat Jennings attended the launch of the new competition at the Aviva Stadium on behalf of the IFA.

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.


David Cather said...

I support the concept of some kind of revived Home Nations tournament as an infinitely preferable alternative to pointless friendly's, but on reflection I think you're right, a boycott at this point would be appropriate. The FAI have effectively started a sectarian carve-up of players.

Glyn Chambers said...

Add on the fact that our anthem will probably be ridiculed at every game by historical illiterates with a massive chip on their shoulder...

(Not that that would ever be a reason not to play on it's own.)

O'Neill said...

Whether the IFA decides to put a team forward or not (doesn't have to be a First XI, in fact better to pack it full with young lads, give them early experience of a "tasty" ie hostile atmosphere) is to an extent, immaterial.

If none of the GAWA turn up for the games, then we're contributing towards making it a financial disaster. I'm guessing very few Scots or Welsh will bother wasting their money on this, if NI supporters also boycott it in force then we'll have at least contributed towards Football Apartheid in Ireland taking a hit.

irishconuk said...

The 'Celtic Cup' tournament has had my full support since its proposed inception.

But following Football Aparthied Ireland's actions in recent years, it should be a no-brainer that the IFA pull the plug on the cup completely.

I understand what you are saying O'Neill with regards to sending down our reserves and a supporter boycott, but that could get extremely embarrassing. As much as I can take NI taking thumpings from Montenegro and the like, a walloping from a ROI team currently on a high from its own selfish agenda would further the FAI's hand in their recruitment drive of young nationalists of NI.

As petty as it might sound... A last minute full withdrawal from the tournament is what should happen. Do it in a way that will expose the subject of player eligibility in the media further.

Although, in fairness it was refreshing to see big Pat with the NI shirt again. Always proud to wear the green of the original Irish team.

CW said...

When Chekov says the IFA have no backbone he's dead right. If the IFA were serious about attracting more players/supporters from the (for want of a better term)"nationalist community" they would have scrapped "God Save the Queen" in favour of a more inclusive anthem years ago. Instead they bow to political pressure and maintain an anthem that's no more Northern Irish than it is English, Scottish or Welsh. I'm not saying that adopting a new anthem would cause a sudden influx of supporters from the Falls and Andytown to Windsor, but at least the IFA would be able to claim the moral high ground.
Yes, the FIFA ruling was unjust, but the IFA deserve no sympathy.
And in any case can you really blame Darron Gibson et al for not wanting to play for a team that loses to the likes of Albania and Montenegro? If the boot was on the other foot the IFA would be doing exactly the same as what the FAI are doing.