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Time for an all-Ireland team based in Belfast

Following the World Cup qualifiers and the ensuing debate about an all-Ireland team, I would agree with this concept.

Given the embarrassing thrashing of the Republic by Denmark and the heroic performance by Northern Ireland in being knocked out by a penalty that never was, it is surely now time for the Republic to return to the IFA. They must regret ever having left.

Even with their policy of poaching as many northern Catholic players as they could, they have failed abysmally. They must return to Belfast, the historic centre of football on the island. The Green and White Army will give them a warm, cross-community welcome. And their players will soon adjust to playing alongside Protestants.

DAVID COLLINS

Belfast

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