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Come to Windsor Park, experience the change

I am writing in response to a letter from your correspondent John Reilly headlined 'Catholics choose not to play for "bigoted" fans' (Write Back, June 1).

The Irish FA is fully committed to 'Football For All' and to promoting, fostering and developing the game at all levels.

The association, with the support of the fans, has worked tirelessly to transform home Northern Ireland internationals and to create a family-friendly atmosphere. Northern Ireland internationals regularly sell out and the famous Green and White Army, Sea of Green initiative and non-sectarian songs such as 'We're not Brazil' have helped to create an atmosphere at the games which is recognised as one of the best in Europe.

The Irish FA is proud to have support from all areas of Northern Ireland and it is important to note that our great teams have always involved players from all sections of the community.

The Association has been working in partnership with community groups using football as a hook to promote good relations, tackling racism and sectarianism.

Standout projects include partnership work with the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs tackling sectarianism, anti-racism initiatives with World United, the Ardoyne and Limestone projects and community relations audits within clubs.

We would like to send an invitation to Mr Reilly and a friend to be our special guests at the Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands, Euro 2012 qualifier at Windsor Park on August 10, to experience the great strides made.

JIM SHAW

President, Irish Football Association

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