Wednesday 13 December 2017

Watch: Italian fan devastated when he couldn't bring his Paul McGrath flag into the game

Italian fan refused entry to Stade Pierre-Mauroy because of his Paul McGrath flag
Italian fan refused entry to Stade Pierre-Mauroy because of his Paul McGrath flag
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

We all have our treasured piece of Irish footballing memorabilia and last night one Italian fan was forced into a Sophie's choice scenario over his beloved Paul McGrath flag.

The bizarre incident, captured by, shows the the fan attempting to walk through a security cordon at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille ahead of Ireland's historic victory.

The flag, which has a picture of Paul McGrath and bottles of Club Orange Zero, was described by the security man outside as “publicity”.

Under Uefa rules for Euro 2016 fans are not permitted to bring “any promotional, commercial objects or materials, including banners, signs, symbols and leaflets” into this stadium.

The fan was told he had to either dump the flag or face missing the game. He looked genuinely crestfallen when he was face with the impossible choice.

There were two security checks going into the stadium and it is believed that almost all fans heeded advice to get to the stadium early to avoid missing the start of the game.

It was not clear if Italy's biggest Paul McGrath fan was willing to part with his beloved flag in favour of attending the game.

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