Friday, July 30, 2010

Ireland defeat IFA attempts to block players

The IFA have lost their case with the Court Of Arbitration For Sport in which they were trying to prevent Irish players born in the North Of Ireland from representing Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland at international level. Despite FIFA making a number of rulings in favour of players like Derry’s Darron Gibson and Antrim’s Marc Wilson, the IFA took their case to CAS in a last ditch attempt to block Irish citizens from representing their country.

The Football Association of Ireland today (July 30) confirmed that it has won the case taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by the IFA in relation to Daniel Kearns.

The landmark ruling vindicates the FAI and FIFA position that players born within the island of Ireland are eligible to play for FAI international teams and provides complete and final clarity on the matter.

The Football Association of Ireland delegation which attended the hearing on July 19 in Switzerland was composed of John Delaney, CEO, Michael Cody, Honorary Secretary and Sarah O’Shea, Legal Director. The FAI was represented by Paul Gardiner SC and David Casserly BL. Daniel Kearns was represented by Gary Rice of Beauchamps.

The FAI thanks the many bodies which assisted it in this case including the Irish Government, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Olympic Council of Ireland, the Irish Sports Council, FIFA, UEFA, numerous elected representatives throughout the island of Ireland and many others.

The ruling comes into force with immediate effect and under the terms of the ruling, the IFA will pay all related costs. The FAI would like to take the opportunity to highlight that it has in recent years had good relations with the IFA. Those were maintained throughout this case and will continue into the future.

Welcoming the ruling, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said;

“Today’s landmark decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirms the FIFA and FAI position on player eligibility. The ruling upholds the right of individual choice on this matter for players born north of the border. I would like to thank the many people from all parts of the island who were strongly supportive during this process, and in particular, recognise the determination of Daniel Kearns and his family to uphold his right as an Irish citizen to play for his country.”

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