Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Keane voices support for players on eligibility issue
Speaking ahead of tonight’s Carling Nations Cup game against Nigel Worthington’s IFA team, Ireland captain Robbie Keane has waded into the eligibility issue stating that it was “totally up to the players” themselves if young Irish internationals from the North decide to play for Ireland rather than the IFA team.
Keane said “If someone wants to play for the Republic and they have the opportunity to do that, its totally up to the players, we had the Darron Gibson situation but at the end of the day he wanted to play for Ireland, so there’s not a lot they can do about it”
The recent hysterical and confused reaction of IFA manager Nigel Worthington regarding the eligibility issue flies in the face of FIFA rules which have always allowed and accommodated players born in the North to play for Trapattoni’s Ireland.
Thousands of Ireland fans from the North will make the trip to the Aviva stadium this evening to cheer on the ‘Boys In Green’ and despite the partisan uttering’s of Nigel Worthington and the clearly political comments from IFA supporters on the issue, perhaps the best advocates that reflect why we support and follow our country is from the words of Ireland international players born in the North of Ireland who currently play under Giovanni Trapattoni:
Marc Wilson “It’s the best honour you can get to represent your country – it’s always been a dream of mine to play for Ireland”
Darron Gibson “It was unbelievable you know, making the debut for your country. Everyone from Derry wants to play for Ireland. I grew up supporting Ireland, so it was a natural choice for me”
Shane Duffy "I’ve always supported the Republic since I was a young kid, It’s a dream come true for me"
No further comment is necessary, simply Irish and proud to represent and follow the Irish international team. Come On You Boys In Green