Irish footballers have been fined €20,000 after singing the Ira song in the dressing room. They did so after they qualified for the World Championships for the first time in history under national coach Vera Pauw, at the expense of Scotland.
Pauw then immediately took responsibility, even though she did not participate in vocals. “From the bottom of our hearts, we apologize to everyone who was offended.”
And now, two months later, UEFA has fined the Irish FA for “breaching basic rules of decent behaviour”. Political expressions are prohibited in international football, for example during the men’s World Cup, Serbia and Croatia were sanctioned by FIFA and Virgil van Dijk, among others, was not allowed to wear the OneLove band.
World Cup next summer
Ireland will be taking part in the World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand from July anyway. Pauw’s team is in Group B with Australia, Nigeria and Canada.
The Netherlands, who lost the final of the previous World Cup, are in Group E with world champions the United States and Vietnam. The third contender won’t be known until February. This comes from the play-off matches between Portugal, Cameroon and Thailand.
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