Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

It's their right to pick team, so just get over it

What is it about the Good Friday Agreement and the decisions taken by both FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in relation to a footballer wishing to play for his country that the IFA, Gerry Armstrong, Nigel Worthington before him and now Michael O'Neill and others do not understand?

Put simply in another way, what is it about no that you do not all understand?

Gary McAllister from the Northern Ireland supporters clubs recently stated on a local radio station, and I quote: "This matter should be settled once and for all so that we can all move on."

I'm sorry Gary, but the matter has been settled so you can move on. A short time ago, Gerry Armstrong stated that it was unfair to put pressure on young lads of 12/14 years of age to make a decision about whom to play for, then proceeds to attempt to cajole them into opting to play for the Northern Ireland international team.

Look, if some lad from the Catholic/nationalist community wants to play football for Northern Ireland in the future, that's fine by me, that's their personal choice.

So I say to Gerry and the IFA and others: leave our kids alone.

Brian Maguire

by email

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