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Sinn Féin Are Calling For A United Ireland Football Team

Sinn Féin Are Calling For A United Ireland Football Team
Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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The prospect of a United Ireland football team seems to do the rounds every couple of years, with Football Manager recently offering its take on what remains a highly controversial issue on this island, drawing the ire of the DUP in the process.

But Gary Middleton and colleagues will surely be delighted with Sinn Féin's latest efforts to beat the drum for an all-Ireland XI. In a video posted to the party's Facebook, Sinn Féin explain - largely through use of imagery and, for some reason, Put 'Em Under Pressure - why football should follow the likes of rugby, cricket and amateur boxing in having one international representative for the island of Ireland.

In the caption to their video, they write:

Irish sports teams are stronger and better when they are all-Ireland teams. Look at the success of our rugby teams and golfers. As an all-ireland organisation the GAA is unmatched by any other sports organisation.
Support for an all-Ireland soccer team is growing. We are stronger and more successful together.

They also add the hashtag '#UnitedIreland'.


The video itself begins as a compilation of glorious and harmonious moments for the island's all-Ireland teams, featuring a picture of the Irish boxing team in Rio - fronted by a tricolour - before ominously zooming in on the faces of Belfast boxers Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes with just about the least subtle change of pace in video history. It then swtiches - at 32 seconds no less - to a Sinn Féin image of a United Ireland, concluding with a quote from George Best on the prospect of a united football team. Check it out below:


The Best quote is indeed legitimate; he said it to reporters in 2005, during the lead-up to Northern Ireland's famous 1-0 win over England at Winsdor Park.

He added at the time:

I’ve always thought that at any given time both the Republic and Northern Ireland have had some great world-class players.

Were a United Ireland team ever to form, for whatever reason, FIFA regulations dictate that both the League of Ireland and the Irish Premiership would have to merge. This would likely be - by a considerable margin - the smallest major stumbling block en route to an all-island national team, which puts the whole scenario into some kind of perspective.



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