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FAI fined €20k for Ireland team’s dressing room song

The FAI have been fined €20,000 by UEFA for ‘violating rules of decent conduct’ due to singing that took place in the dressing room after the national team’s World Cup play-off win against Scotland in October.NYSC Portal

Following the 1-0 victory at Hampden Park, a video of the players in the locker room singing The Wolfe Tones’ Celtic Symphony, which has lyrics suggesting IRA support, went viral on social media.InformationGuideNigeria

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Ireland manager Vera Pauw and the FAI later apologized over the incident, and European football’s governing body launched its own disciplinary probe.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body declared on Thursday that the FAI would be punished for “violation of the basic norms of decent conduct.”

A statement read: “Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector regarding the potential inappropriate behaviour by players of the Republic of Ireland Women’s team in the aftermath of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers play-off second leg match played against Scotland on 11 October 2022, and the subsequent disciplinary proceedings opened against the Football Association of Ireland, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has taken the following decision: to fine the Football Association of Ireland €20,000 for the violation of the basic rules of decent conduct.”

The FAI responded to the punishment with a statement of their own: “The Football Association of Ireland notes and accepts the sanction by the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body of UEFA following UEFA’s independent investigation into a potential breach of UEFA’s Disciplinary Regulations.JAMB Result

“The FAI and the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team has apologised to all affected by events after the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying Play-Off against Scotland in Hampden Park in October.

“The FAI has assured UEFA that all players and staff across all of our international teams have been, and will continue to be, reminded of their responsibilities every time they represent their country. The FAI will be making no further comment on this matter.”

Pauw made no excuses for the incident in the days following Ireland’s famous result in Glasgow. Speaking to RTÉ Sport, she said: “The values that we carry is that we have respect for everybody. The first meeting with the players was about having respect, that’s how we work.

“We’re sincerely and deeply sorry for what happened and it doesn’t matter if the players meant anything or not, because they didn’t mean anything, because it was a celebration.

“That doesn’t mean they should not realise what they were doing.

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“And also, not to put it on social media, if it’s in a private room it should not happen either, because of having respect for everybody, respect for the history.

“Your freedom ends where you go into the freedom of somebody else.

“The freedom of doing this is brought to an end the moment you hurt people, and we have hurt people, and we are very deeply sorry for that.”

Kenny Donaldson, director of services for the victims and survivors group South-East Fermanagh Foundation, said: “We welcome the decision taken by UEFA which validates the concerns our organisation and others voiced.

“UEFA are sending out a message that engagement in chants/singing songs aligned with a terrorist organisation is an offence and is not appropriate behaviour. There will of course be many who will feel the level of penalty is limited, and does not recognise the gravity of the situation.

“For us, our objective remains the same as it was from the day this story first broke, we re-issue our request to meet with the Women’s Team and to engage with them around these issues, we are not proposing a sackcloth and ashes approach but rather to engage in constructive dialogue designed to increase their levels of awareness and appreciation for a constituency of people who have been badly hurt by this incident and other linked incidents, and many of whom who would be natural supporters of the Irish Women’s football team.JAMB Portal

“We were advised that our request could not be considered until the completion of the UEFA investigation, we would now urgently seek that meeting and engagement and we trust that the FAI will respond positively.”

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Emediong Ekpe

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing.

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