Saturday 24 February 2018

Unity in soccer

• While Keith Nolan's suggestion of an Ireland soccer team drawn from locally based players (Letters, June 12) seems at first ridiculous, upon reflection there is merit in his idea. It would generate more interest in the domestic leagues and might even result in an all-Ireland league.

The team would be yet another welcome step in harmonising relations between the two traditions on this island. Furthermore, while this team would win absolutely nothing internationally, it would therefore have something in common with the present set-up of seriously overpaid, journeymen low-achievers from the British leagues which presently compromise the Eire and Northern Ireland squads.

However, I must disagree with Mr Nolan's suggestion that this all-Ireland side should stand for 'Amhran na bhFiann'. This would be as insensitive to the contingent of players from Ulster as 'God Save the Queen' would be to the southern contingent. No, I reckon this all-Ireland soccer team would have to endure 'Ireland's Call'. A small price to pay for soccer unity.

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