The blue ribbon event in the Irish footballing calendar is taking place at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon, but one major talking point emerged before the game.
In typical cup final fashion, there were plenty of pre-match formalities to get out of the way before Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers got the action underway on the pitch. One of those was the national anthem, where Rovers goalkeeper Alan Mannus stood out from the rest of the players.
As is customary, 21 of the 22 players turned to face the Irish flag during the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann. Mannus was the only exception.
Alan Mannus has gone for the Sammy Morrow approach to Amhrán na bhFiann pic.twitter.com/yT4NCwGGAM
— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) November 3, 2019
Mannus is a Northern Ireland international, having started his career at Linfield. He has nine caps for Northern Ireland, and returned to Shamrock Rovers in 2018 after a seven year spell at St Johnstone in Scotland.
Many people were quick to condemn the goalkeeper for his reaction to the national anthem.
Shout out to Alan Mannus disrespecting his national flag 😝🎣 #FAICupFinal
— Paul O'Brien (@WestCorkPaul) November 3, 2019
Thought Mannus would have insisted on Irelands Call being played........#FAICUP
— Anthony Ward (@antow73) November 3, 2019
Absolute lol @ Alan Mannus 🇮🇪
— Dodge (@seidodge) November 3, 2019
— SON OF MICK 🔴⚫️ (@HIBBILLY) November 3, 2019
Alan Mannus looked very uncomfortable at national Anthem
— Joe Donohue (@JoeDonohoe14) November 3, 2019
Hard not to notice Alan Mannus did not face the flag #FAICupFinal
— Marc O'Reachtaire (@o_reachtaire) November 3, 2019
Alan Mannus looked like he was ready to fight the national anthem 😂
— Barry Masterson (@BarryMasterson) November 3, 2019
While this is a long standing tradition, Mannus' wishes not to adhere to it must be respected. It is a similar situation to the one James McClean finds himself in during poppy season in England, where Irish fans usually stand up for his right not to wear one.
Lads, Mannus can turn if he wants. The same with the McClean poppy situation. We can all agree we don't like him because he's Rovers though!
— Graham Hoey (@G_Hoey) November 3, 2019
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 🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️🤦🏻♂️
— Jamie (@jamieparry85) November 3, 2019