Belfast Telegraph

IFA rejects Cliftonville request to drop national anthem from Irish Cup final

By David Young

The Irish Football Association has ruled that the UK national anthem will be played at tomorrow's Irish Cup final at Windsor Park, when north Belfast team Cliftonville play Coleraine for the trophy.

In a statement, the soccer chiefs said that they had considered a request from Cliftonville that the UK national anthem be dropped from the match, and had decided the status quo should continue.

"Following a written request from Cliftonville Football clubm the Board of the Irish Football Association met tonight  (3 May), 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 hotly-anticipated Tennents Irish Cup final kicks off at 2.30 tomorrow.

More than 10,000 excited fans are expected to attend.

A spokesperson for Cliftonville said: "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."

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