What on Earth was going on when the Republic of Ireland football team was shown an "anti-English" video before the recent game with England at Wembley?
Yes, football - especially at international level - arouses strong passions.
Anyone who has been at Windsor Park during an international game and has listened to the roar of the crowd will be well aware of that. There is passion in the stands and there is passion on the pitch.
However, the recent dispute over the Irish pre-match video has exposed, once again, something deeper and darker in the Irish psyche.
Newspaper reports of the motivational video indicate that the content had a focus on the Great Famine of the 19th century and the Easter Rising of 1916 - two of the iconic events in the Irish nationalist narrative.
Now, it didn't do the team much good, because they were beaten 3-0 by England, although some unkindly people might argue that without the video it could have been 6-0. But it was clearly intended to motivate and psych up the team to go out and take on the English.
Every manager wants to motivate his players. That is part of what managers do before every game. But is there not a problem with a national team that resorts to such methods to motivate the players?
The Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen made the point well when he said: "By firing up old resentments, the video only fuels extremism and racism and has no place in football. We must keep it out. Can you imagine what would happen if the English coach showed the England team films of the Second World War and the Nazi death camps before a match with Germany? It would have been career-ending."
The FAI responded to the reports by saying that they were "aware of issues surrounding content shared with our team ahead of the recent friendly against England" and they were "already looking into this matter internally as a matter of urgency to establish the facts".
However, a few days later, the FAI concluded that there was no justification for any action against the manager and the matter was closed.
They may say it is closed, but many people will think it has just been left open.
Was the video as described in the media?
Were the media reports true? Well, the FAI has certainly not denied them and so they are left unrefuted.
In this era of transparency and social media, there is, of course, an easy way for the FAI to settle the issue: if there is nothing problematic about the video, the FAI could simply post it online. The failure on the part of the FAI to refute the charges simply leaves the issue open.
Of course, this is not the first time that the Republic of Ireland team have been associated with controversial aspects of Irish history and it is not the first time that the FAI has done nothing about it.
When John Delaney was chief executive of the FAI, he was videoed in a bar singing a rebel song about Provisional IRA member Joe McDonnell. The initial response from the FAI was to deny that it was Delaney who was singing in the video.
Unfortunately for the FAI, that was shown to be untrue and eventually Delaney had to say he was sorry.
However, he was so tin-eared that he went on to contextualise his performance by saying that they had been singing another rebel song, Sean South from Garryowen, for years on the team bus.
Surely, we should be seeking to normalise relationships between those who share these islands?
It is now time for Irish nationalism to let go of its ancient, cherished grievances, whether they be from the 19th century, or the 17th century, or whenever.
On the other hand, are we to anticipate Irish football teams being shown films about the 10th-century Viking invasions before international matches with Norway and Denmark?
After all, those Vikings were a pillaging people and you might as well make the most of being the Most Oppressed People Ever.