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Euro 2016 Qualification Proposal Is Not Going Down Well In Belfast

Euro 2016 Qualification Proposal Is Not Going Down Well In Belfast
By Conor Neville
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In honour of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland qualifying for the same major tournament for the first time, the SDLP's Declan Boyle has proposed that Belfast host a joint reception for the two sides in City Hall.

Boyle says the motion is an 'overdue attempt at inclusiveness' and he would be 'surprised' that anyone could vote against such a proposal. But vote against it some could.

Suzanne Breen of the Belfast Telegraph reports that members of both the DUP and the UUP are hostile to the proposal. Jim Rodgers of the UUP for example is less than keen and feels that the 'SDLP is playing politics with sport'.


He said that if Belfast is going to host receptions for teams from other countries, then they may as well go the whole hog and host a reception for the English and Welsh teams as well.

If this is the road we are going down, then we must invite the English and Welsh teams as well. Sadly, we can't include Scotland as they didn't qualify. We should be celebrating the success of the British Isles teams.

Read more: A Loving Ode To The BBC's 'Results From Northern Ireland'

Boyle disputed that he was playing politics on the issue, saying that his motion was simply a recognition that the vast majority of people living in Northern Ireland support either the North or the Republic.

You just don't see local people going to the pub in England and Wales jerseys... The Republic has Northern Ireland players in its ranks. We should be celebrating this.

Brian Kingston of the DUP was inclined to agree with his UUP adversary.

I welcome the success of four teams from the British Isles qualifying but it would be inappropriate to hold a joint reception for the Northern Ireland squad and a team from another country... People from Northern Ireland can support whatever team they choose, but we encourage them to support Northern Ireland and most of them do.

We won't anticipate this one being sorted out with all sides happy any time soon.


[Belfast Telegraph]

Read more: Richie Towell Set For Big Move And He's Doing A Lot Better Than League 2

Read more: The 5 Different Reactions In The South To Northern Ireland Qualifying For Euro 2016

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