Anger at sectarian songs after NI game

Published Tuesday, 15 February 2011
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The Irish Football Association has condemned the actions of a group of Northern Ireland fans who were captured on film singing sectarian songs after an international game in Dublin last week.

Footage was published on YouTube after Northern Ireland's defeat to Scotland in their Carling Nations Cup opener at the Aviva Stadium last Wednesday.

A spokesman for the IFA has told UTV the organisation is now investigating "the facts surrounding the events" to put together "an overall picture of what happened".

"We are at the minute collecting all the facts surrounding the events and once we have the facts, we'll take the necessary and appropriate action," Geoff Wilson told UTV.

We condemn the action of a small minority of fans at the Northern Ireland v Scotland game. This has got no place in football.

IFA spokesman Geoff Wilson

Some of the tickets for the match were not sold, as is normally the case, through the IFA, which could hamper the efforts to identify those responsible for the offensive singing inside the Aviva Stadium.

Mr Wilson said that, although a majority of the Northern Ireland fans behaved impeccably, this type of sectarianism at football matches is unacceptable.

The IFA and the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs have been engaged for the last 10 years in trying to eradicate sectarianism in sport.

Their progress has been so significant that Northern Ireland fans received a UEFA award in 2006.

"There's been a lot of work done and we will not be resting on our laurels. We will make sure that sectarianism has no place in football", Mr Wilson said.

In a statement, Sports Minister Nelson McCausland said he was "extremely disappointed" by the behaviour shown on the YouTube footage.

He added: "The behaviour demonstrated by this small group does nothing to promote the good name of football and sport in Northern Ireland to other regions."

In a statement a spokesman for the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs says the inappropriate conduct and singing were not an accurate reflection of how fans behave at international matches.

The organisation insists it supports the Football for All campaign, which promotes a family friendly atmosphere at matches.

The IFA and the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs are now working with the PSNI, Gardai, the FAI and others to ensure the match against the Republic of Ireland, which will take place in Dublin in May, passes off peacefully.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Marty Mullan in Belfast wrote (1,437 days ago):
Nothing has changed in essence. The same sectarian bigots attend Northern Ireland matches. I attended NI games from 1983 to 1990 and I said I would never return after I realised that this was not normal behavior. I was anaesthetised by the troubles and just concentrated on what I loved, football. This might have been a minority but it was a sizable minority. This is not just yobs. It's complete inbred hatred.
dundalk fan in dundalk wrote (1,437 days ago):
i was at the linfield and dundalk match the other night, while there was sectarian chanting there was no union flags burnt. anyone who says so is talking rubbish, pure lies, someone even said there was footage of the flag been burnt, so where is it? also why would utv report what the dundalk fans were at? dundalk is from the republic not the north so its no concern of utvs, in the same way rte didnt report about the northern ireland fans
stevie in belfast wrote (1,438 days ago):
@ Mark O, This is about NI fans, so thats what we should comment on. Other people bringing the GAA, IRA or whatever into it are just trying to derail the comments and deflect blame. Now lets stick to the topic. ps nice whataboutery by the way.
Seamas in Derry wrote (1,439 days ago):
McGurk. Cracking post, if I could make any sense of it.
Mark O in Londonderry wrote (1,439 days ago):
I've just read ALL the posts on this topic and it's clear that the vast majority of N. Ireland Supporters have condemned this bunch of idiots for singing offensive songs but it seems Nationalist/Republican posters have just ignored this and tarred us all with the same brush. Which part of condemn don't you all understand? @ Stevie and his whataboutery if Republicans can complain about Glasgow Rangers, Linfield, The Union Flag, The National Anthem etc etc on this thread, then others are quite within their rights to highlight the hatred, bigotry, ignorance and intolerance that exists within the Republican community, it's Sporting Organisations and teams. Seems most on here have forgotten the bombs planted around Windsor Park designed to murder Football Fans. Republicans on here are condemning others for singing offensive songs which again leaves Republicans open to being called Hyprocrites! People in glass houses should not throw stones. Both sections off the community have their bigots and offensive song singing brigades it's not just Northern Ireland Fans.
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