Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Anthem row just a lot of noise

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

The DUP's William Humphrey, Edwin Poots , Michelle McIlveen, Jim Shannon and David Hilditch arriving to meet with representatives of the Irish Football Association on Wednesday
The DUP's William Humphrey, Edwin Poots , Michelle McIlveen, Jim Shannon and David Hilditch arriving to meet with representatives of the Irish Football Association on Wednesday

A lot of people – including our own shy and retiring politicians – seem have found their voice over a song that won't be sung before Saturday's Irish Cup final.

Ever since the Irish FA confirmed that there would be no National Anthem before the showpiece clash between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park, a few people have made an extra special effort to get up early in the morning to be offended.

Why are we even talking about this?

It should be a case of 'move along and stop moaning, there is nothing to see (or hear) here'.

This has happened before – and not just once, so wake up and smell the coffee.

Where was the outrage when there was no National Anthem played when the Reds faced Crusaders in the 2009 Irish Cup Final?

Where was the anger when there was no National Anthem played when the neighbours met again in this season's IRN-BRU League Cup final?

Now politicians, who very rarely come to the party when it's time to sort out the real issues causing concern to local football fans, couldn't resist the temptation to come out with the same old nonsense which has held this country back for years.

If there is any criticism to be dished out here, it should be aimed at the IFA who made the anthem an issue by making their announcement. The football body, who preach their 'Football For All' message, scored an own goal.

Maybe they should try a career in politics.

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