Saturday, May 27, 2006


Fury over FIFA foolishness

I'm pleased to see this issue is not going away and that FIFA are being tackled by the Irish Government over their disgraceful insistence that NI players carry British passports.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern (pictured left looking pissed off) has said NI players should be able to travel on Irish passports if they want but FIFA have written to the Irish Football Association to say its officials cannot determine whether footballers with Irish passports can play for NI.

That's right - they can't figure out that players from Northern IRELAND might actually have IRISH passports.

Apparently the average FIFA official has the brain capacity of Father Dougal Maguire.

Previously, it had been acceptable for NI players to have a British or Irish passport and it was hoped this policy would continue. The SDLP and Sinn Féin have pointed out that the Good Friday Agreement recognised that all people born in NI could opt for British or Irish citizenship.

FIFA have remained stubborn in their stupidity however as a statement from football's governing body highlighted:

"FIFA sees no alternative but to require players to hold the passport of the national association they are seeking to represent in order to allow the match commissioner to verify their eligibility".

"The fact that a player holds an Irish Republic passport does not demonstrate conclusively that he or she is eligible to play for Northern Ireland."

An Irish passport doesn't say it's a passport of the 'Irish Republic' so it's not as complex as these morons are making it out to be. The passport states quite clearly 'Ireland' on it. Why is this so hard to figure out for these simpletons?

A FIFA official's worst nightmare

As Dermot Ahern rightly pointed out, "from a travelling point of view if a player wishes as he is entitled to under the Good Friday Agreement to produce an Irish passport, in my view that should be accepted at the receiving country."

This view was shared by Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness:

"This is a human right, a national right for Irish citizens to carry an Irish passport.

"If the logic of this ruling was to be followed through by other sporting organisations it could have far reaching ramifications for sport in all of Ireland."

The SDLP's Pat Ramsay echoed these sentiments:

"It is clear that the Irish government and the IFA must take a stand against what is essentially the sporting marginalisation of half the community in the north.

"This decision is discriminatory, it is damaging, and in the context of the Good Friday Agreement, it is illegal."

Well said. I completely agree with the views above. How on earth can FIFA be so dense about this matter? They can host global football tournaments yet they can't get their heads around the notion that Irish players might actually be in possession of Irish passports?

If you want to articulate your displeasure with FIFA over this matter and challenge them over their incredible idiocy, do what I did and send them an email at

Register your disgust and let these donkeys know how you feel.


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