Belfast Telegraph

God Save the Queen will be played at Irish Cup final despite Cliftonville appeal

By Staff Reporter

The national anthem will be played at tomorrow's Irish Cup final at Windsor Park, despite a request from Cliftonville FC that it should be dropped.

The north Belfast team Cliftonville are playing Coleraine for the trophy.

The IFA said it had considered a request from Cliftonville that the national anthem be dropped from the match, but said the status quo should continue.

"Following a written request from Cliftonville Football Club the Board of the Irish Football Association met tonight (May 3), and considered the playing of the National Anthem at the Irish Cup final," the statement said.

"The members expressed sympathy for Cliftonville's position, but decided that the current board policy, agreed in August 2013, should stand.

"Therefore, the National Anthem will be played before the match.

"The board also committed to conducting a future stakeholder review of the issue."

Chief executive of the IFA Patrick Nelson has resisted commenting on the matter and was prepared to let the association's board make the call on the anthem.

Cliftonville FC said in a statement last night that it would not comment on the matter until after the Cup Final.

"Cliftonville Football Club note tonight's Irish Football Association statement following the decision of the majority of the IFA Board in regards to the playing of an anthem at this year's Irish Cup Final.

"We will be making no further comment until after the Final."

Cliftonville are hoping to lift the premier knockout prize in domestic football for the first time since 1979, while Coleraine haven't won the trophy since 2003.

The Bannsiders only tasted one defeat in their 38-game league season but still finished runner-ups behind Crusaders.

Coleraine are also hoping for a better outcome than a year ago after they lost 3-0 to Linfield in the showpiece game.

Belfast Telegraph

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