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Let IFA 'poach' junior players from Republic

While it is unfortunate that the IFA lost their appeal with FIFA on the 'eligibility' ruling, the Windsor Avenue organisation must remember that this works both ways and there is nothing to stop the IFA 'poaching' Republic of Ireland players who have played at Youth International level.

Perhaps they should approach some of these players and find out if they would be interested in playing for Northern Ireland.

What the IFA would be better off doing, though, is forcing FIFA to change the eligibility rules completely so that once a player has represented his country at Youth/Schoolboy level, he cannot play for a different country at full International level.

This would stop the IFA having to worry about spending money coaching Youth Internationals who then decided to play for the Republic a few years later.

If these players have made it clear that they want to play for the Republic, then the IFA should let them go as they quite obviously don't want to play for Northern Ireland.

If this is their attitude, I wouldn't want them to play for Northern Ireland anyway.

ANDREW McKEEVER

Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

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