Belfast Telegraph

We've done loads on GAWA: BBC host Dan Walker defends Northern Ireland Football Focus exclusion

By Jonathan Bell

BBC television host Dan Walker has defended Northern Ireland's exclusion from his Football Focus show ahead of the mouth-watering tie with world champions Germany, saying they have "done loads" on the Green and White Army.

Saturday's edition of the show which previews all the action in the game for the weekend and week ahead featured an interview with Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for the "key match" with Slovakia on Thursday.

Scotland - like Northern Ireland have - could secure second place in their group and a vital place in the play-offs.

There was no mention of Northern Ireland who face world champions Germany on Thursday, however, England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland were all mentioned during the show.

Ending the show presenter Dan Walker said there would be a "really good look at all the qualifiers next week".

One viewer took to Twitter to complain about the lack of mention of the Green and White Army.

"Really poor. #WeExist" he tweeted direct to the presenter.

In response Mr Walker said they had "done loads on the #GAWA". He said team captain Steven Davis would be on the show next week with Michael O'Neill appearing at the end of October.

Northern Ireland sit second in Group C on 13 points, five behind Germany. Barring a major upset they should book a place in the play-offs after their final game against Norway.

After the 2-0 win over the Czech Republic in the last qualifier, Northern Ireland boss O'Neill said the national team deserved more recognition for their achievements.

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