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IFA needs to take action over exodus

The loss of players to the Republic is now a critical issue facing the IFA and Northern Ireland international football.

The IFA should be maximising its efforts to prevent further losses of this type, as other players will switch allegiance when opportune to do so.

The IFA develops young players and is then betrayed by the players themselves, or they are encouraged south by other unscrupulous parties.

The IFA needs to take urgent action now if this situation is to be reversed. I propose the following four courses of action:

* the IFA should embrace complete neutrality and change the anthem and flag

* it should suspend relations with the FAI. Why maintain a normal relationship with a hostile predator?

* the IFA should attempt to recoup from the FAI the development costs of the players who have switched allegiance

* on reaching the age of legal responsibility, young players should be contracted to the IFA and the Northern Ireland international team before being selected for the various age-oriented international teams.

If the IFA does not address this matter aggressively, there is no point in redeveloping Windsor Park as we will have no quality players left to play in it.

Act now, IFA, and stop letting the FAI walk all over you.

OLIVER FEELING

Ballygowan, Co Down

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