FIFA charge Ir­ish FA over 1916 Easter up­ris­ing logo

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LONDON:

FIFA has charged the Ir­ish Football As­so­ci­a­tion (FAI) over a shirt logo worn in March to com­mem­o­rate the 100th an­niver­sary of an up­ris­ing against Bri­tish rule.

“We can con­firm that dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings have been opened on this mat­ter,” a spokes­woman for world soc­cer’s gov­ern­ing body, whose rules for­bid play­ers from wear­ing any­thing that can be per­ceived as a po­lit­i­cal state­ment, said yes­ter­day.

“We can­not com­ment fur­ther at this stage nor spec­u­late on any out­come.” There was no im­me­di­ate re­ac­tion from the FAI. Ire­land’s play­ers wore the logo-with the words Eire 1916/Ire­land 2016 — when they played a friendly match against Switzer­land on March 25, two days before of­fi­cial state com­mem­o­ra­tions of the 1916 Easter up­ris­ing.

The re­bel­lion is widely seen as the defin­ing mo­ment of an in­de­pen­dence strug­gle that ended cen­turies of Bri­tish rule five years later.

But many union­ists in the Bri­tish prov­ince of North­ern Ire­land con­sider the event an il­le­gal up­ris­ing. The prov­ince’s First Min­is­ter Ar­lene Foster has said it was used to jus­tify Ir­ish Repub­li­can Army vi­o­lence in the 1970s and 80s.

FIFA is sep­a­rately in­volved in an ar­gu­ment with Eng­land and Scot­land, who want their play­ers to wear pop­pies on arm­bands when they play a World Cup qual­i­fier on Nov. 11, the an­niver­sary of World War One’s Ar­mistice Day in 1918. Ir­ish me­dia said the Ire­land logo had been used as an ex­am­ple by Eng­land and Scot­land in ne­go­ti­a­tions with FIFA.

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May strongly crit­i­cised FIFA on Wed­nes­day, telling par­lia­ment that the soc­cer body’s stance was “ut­terly out­ra­geous”.

“Our football play­ers want to recog­nise and re­spect those who have given their lives for our safety and se­cu­rity. I think it is ab­so­lutely right that they should be able to do so,” she said.

FIFA is try­ing to re­cover from the worst graft scan­dal in its his­tory which has seen 42 peo­ple, in­clud­ing for­mer FIFA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee members, in­dicted in the United States since May last year. — Reuters

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