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Sinn Féin hit out at IFA over misleading comments

3 June, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA Paul Butler has criticised the Irish Football Association Chief Executive, Howard Wells, for claiming that FIFA's latest statements over player eligibility will prevent Irish citizens living in the North from representing, the Republic of Ireland, at international level.

"It appears the Irish Football Association (IFA) is intent on cajoling young talented footballers from the nationalist community to play for the "Northern Ireland" football team.

"Sinn Fein understands that FIFA's latest statement does not prevent Irish citizens born in the north from opting to represent the Republic of Ireland.

"The new Article 16 is not relevant to Ireland as it relates only to players whose nationality entitles them to represent more than one team- as opposed to dual nationality.

"Irish citizens remain eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland, and Sinn Féin will continue working with the Irish Government and Football Association of Ireland to ensure FIFA do not move from this position." Críoch

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