Ahead of kick-off in this afternoon's Irish Cup final against Coleraine at Windsor Park, the Cliftonville players bowed their heads in protest at the playing of God Save The Queen ahead of kick-off.
Days before the final, Cliftonville requested that the anthem not be played only to see their request dismissed by the Irish FA.
Following a written request from Cliftonville Football Club 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 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.
Prior to that agreement in 2013, the IFA agreed to drop the playing of the anthem before that year's cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran. The IFA said they made the decision "in the interests of fostering a 'politically neutral environment' for the game", and also dropped the anthem before the 2009 final between Cliftonville and Crusaders.
Cliftonville noted the decision and elected to make no further comment until today. When the anthem began, all of the players bowed their heads and stared at the ground. You can watch it below.
Entire Cliftonville team lower their heads during the playing of god save the queen at Windsor park at Irish cup final. Well done Reds. #StillAColdHouseForNationalists #ShoveYourIFA pic.twitter.com/9v4lmiPNDu
— Short Strand (@Short_Strand) May 5, 2018