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Final dilemma for minister's World Cup dream

In his recent interview with Steven Beacom (Sport, September 10), Sports Minister Nelson McCausland alludes to the aspirational sentiment towards Irish reunification in the GAA's constitution and cites this as a barrier to unionist involvement.

By the same logic, then, he must accept that the continued use of partisan symbols and anthems by the IFA at Windsor Park and even their use of the term 'Northern Ireland' as the team name are impediments preventing local nationalists supporting the North of Ireland soccer team and are in no small measure responsible for the recent glut of local players from nationalist backgrounds opting to align themselves with the FAI teams in Dublin.

It is now, surely, incumbent on Mr McCausland to bring this matter to the IFA's attention and demand change if he wishes to retain any credibility.

But logical thinking doesn't appear to be a particular forte of Mr McCausland.

He states that he is unable to attend the forthcoming Down v Cork All-Ireland Final due to the match taking place on a Sunday.

Yet, in the same interview, he cites his dream event would be to attend a World Cup final involving the IFA soccer team. Given that every World Cup Final has been played on a Sunday for the last 40 years, Mr McCausland is going to be confronted with a real dilemma of conscience - in the unlikely event of an IFA team reaching soccer's ultimate destination.


Poyntzpass, Co Down


From Belfast Telegraph