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No anthem at Irish Cup final

Football chiefs in Northern Ireland have taken the decision not to play 'God Save The Queen' at next month's politically-sensitive Irish Cup final.

The national anthem is traditionally played before the final but for this year's meeting between Cliftonville and Glentoran it will be dropped from the pre-match build-up at Windsor Park on May 4

Cliftonville have a traditionally Catholic fan-base while Glentoran's supporters are mainly from a Protestant background and the decision on the anthem was taken by the Irish FA's Challenge Cup Committee to try to make the match a "politically-neutral" environment and prevent it from becoming a potential flashpoint.

IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson told the Press Association: "This is not a generic decision but the Challenge Cup committee has made a decision on the national anthem, on this particular occasion, to foster a neutral atmosphere at the game."

The move has been greeted with anger by some Glentoran fans who have criticised the decision on social media sites, claiming it has been taken merely to appease Republicans.

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