Two Northern Ireland internationals, join the Republic of Ireland – by Aaron Agnew

Well isn’t this rather controversial.  I honestly do not know where to start with this one, I believe if your born in a country you must play for that country regardless where any of Thomas William or Harold were born, nor your religious views, if you really feel strongly about it don’t play, however don’t then join another country. 

Public enemy number 1, Shane Duffy Born and raised in Londonderry Northern Ireland, has represented “his country” Republic of Ireland, makes a lot of sense? NO it doesn’t, but according to some FIFA law and the good Friday agreement he can, “any person holding a permanent nationality that is not dependent on residence in a certain country is eligible to play for the representative teams of the Association of that country “.  Basically his grandparents or great grandparents where born down south so it means he can play there daft I know in March of 2013 Shane decided to write on twitter “up the ra” Slang for up the IRA (Irish Republican Army), he went on to receive loads of abuse from fellow fans of his. 

Up steps public enemy number 2. James McClean, everyone knows this guy.  The amount of trouble he’s been in because of this is outrageous, once again another player born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.  Was called up to the Northern Ireland under 21’s squad whilst playing for Derry City in 2009 and went on to make 7 appearances before a double transfer came, a club move to Sunderland and a country move to the republic of Ireland, yet another player who has ruined some kids chances of playing for their country because they’ve decided to play youth level up until they get a move across the water, however it doesn’t end here for Jimmy, he then decided to run his mouth of on twitter about Northern Ireland, shortly after that he went on to receive death threats over twitter to which is disgraceful, at the end of the day its only football.  One of the reasons he says his move to the Republic was, because Northern Ireland’s national anthem is ‘God Save our Queen’.  So what does that stop you from playing there? By this stage I’m starting to think that he is being quite sectarian about this as Pat McCourt and Niall McGinn whom have played for Celtic and are Roman Catholics play for Northern Ireland, they might not sing the national anthem fair enough but they are representing their country.  In November every football club in the Barclays premier league wore a poppy on their shirt to remember soldiers that have fought and died around the world, well James McClean decides to object to this, to then ask for a shirt without a poppy to be printed off, why you ask? Because he thinks it’s only for British soldiers.  He went on to receive more death threats and even booed by his own fans on this matter. 

A very controversial topic to speak about but it is something I believe in very strongly, religion shouldn’t matter in football, however this is the case here, these two players are quite clearly Catholic’s which I respect, but they are making matters 10 times worse than what they should be to be honest, we have supposedly moved on.


Image – Sky Sports