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Row erupts as NI international Alan Mannus refuses to face Irish flag during national anthem in Dublin

Rovers' Alan Mannus did not face the Irish flag during the playing of the national anthem
Rovers' Alan Mannus did not face the Irish flag during the playing of the national anthem

A row has erupted after Northern Ireland international and former Linfield goalkeeper Alan Mannus refused to face the Irish tricolour during the national anthem before a match in Dublin.

Mannus was lining out for Shamrock Rovers as they took on Dundalk in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon when the incident occurred.

As is customary, players turned to face the Irish flag during the playing of the Irish national anthem. All 22 players followed the formality, except for Mannus.

Many took to social media to condemn the goalkeeper for his behaviour.

"Alan Mannus not respecting our anthem. [He] doesn’t have to sing but respect costs nothing... no class," one user wrote on Twitter.

Another said: "Shout out to Alan Mannus disrespecting his national flag."

Others, however, compared the actions of Mannus to those of Londonderry-born Republic of Ireland international James McClean, who has in the past came under fire for refusing to wear a poppy when play for his club Stoke City.

"Its a very sensitive subject, Alan Mannus is a Northern Ireland international and a former Linfield FC player," one fan said.

"James McClean has done something very similar when playing for West Brom in a pre-season game, he didn't receive abuse from Irish people on Twitter did he?"

Another said: "The same people slaughtering Alan Mannus are the same people who do be up in arms when James McClean gets hate for standing up for his beliefs."

Alan Mannus started his career at Linfield before moving to Shamrock Rovers in 2009. A spell at St Johnstone in Scotland followed before he returned to Shamrock Rovers in 2018.

He has nine caps for Northern Ireland.

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