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All cultures and creeds welcome at Windsor

The ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in favour of the FAI was undoubtedly a disappointment to all connected to the IFA.

At the same time, in some respects it did not change the actual position, which is that it is unfair to force someone who does not want to play for Northern Ireland to actually do so.

As a member of the Football For All advisory panel of the IFA, can I just reaffirm that my colleagues, together with the IFA and the Northern Ireland supporters, are committed to ensuring that everyone who is eligible to play for Northern Ireland knows that the IFA and the Northern Ireland supporters want them to do so and are taking positive action to ensure that they feel welcome and respected.

It is readily acknowledged that mistakes were made in the past, but with the fans' support the IFA are actively challenging the sectarianism that caused so many difficulties in the past and recognise the damage it does to the sport they love, never mind the impact it has on our wider society.

It is a work in progress and so, while it is appreciated that much has been achieved, it is realised that more can be done.

Anyone who visits Windsor Park now will recognise that it is a more inclusive environment for anyone who visits there, other than the obvious sporting rivalries for the opposition.

The performances in the World Cup in 1958 as well as 1982 and 1986 were from teams that reflected all aspects of our diverse society and showed how by working together we can actually achieve so much.

TREVOR RINGLAND

Holywood, Co Down

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