• Isn't it about time to change the name of the nation's soccer team.
It's way past time to drop the 'Republic of' prefix to the team name and announce to the world -- especially Sepp Blatter and Fifa -- that, commencing with the World Cup qualifiers in the autumn, the Republic of Ireland will be officially be known as Ireland from this point on. We have players in the squad from throughout Ireland now and, no doubt, more will join in the not too distant future. I have taken soundings here in the US and there would be great support and enthusiasm for a move such as this -- never mind the reaction from Belfast.
Let the northern football association continue to call their team 'Northern Ireland' -- the world will ignore any pretensions that team may have to represent this country.
Take a lead from our rugby brothers and make this name change now. At the very least, take a survey throughout the country and test the public mood on the matter.
Remember the worldwide implications that resulted from President Nixon's decision to use a ping-pong game to open wide the door to China (having spent his entire career up to that point vilifying 'Red China').
Come on FAI. Think big. Make the decision about the team's name -- and stun the football world by a decisive and noble action.