Sport Soccer

Thursday 14 December 2017

Fury over Trapattoni's 'there is no league in Ireland' claim

Ryan McEvoy, Bohemians, celebrates scoring for his side - he hit back at Trapattoni's comments
Ryan McEvoy, Bohemians, celebrates scoring for his side - he hit back at Trapattoni's comments
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI Trapattoni enraged League of Ireland players and fans yesterday by repeating his belief that there is "no league in Ireland".

It's not the first time that the Italian has spoken dismissively of the domestic game, with his command of the English language exacerbating the slight.

He believes that Ireland are doing well to compete with second-place rivals Sweden and Austria when both those countries have a fully professional league they can select players from.

"I repeat we are proud because before the (Sweden) game we were in the same position with Sweden and Austria," said Trapattoni. "In Ireland there is no league. Our players play in England. In Sweden there is a league. In Austria there is a league.

"That is different. Maybe you do not know, but I know this. I was in other countries as a manager and it is different. When every weekend there is games in the league (to watch) that is different."

His comments drew an angry response from current League of Ireland players on social media channels who pointed out that a number of Trapattoni's squad were produced at home, while several fans observed that Irish clubs have knocked out Swedish opposition in Europe during his tenure.

"Just seeing Trap's comments regarding 'no league' in Ireland. I'd care if it was from someone who showed they had a knowledge of the modern game," said Dundalk defender Brian Gartland.

"Surely the FAI can't tolerate such embarrassing and disrespectful comments towards it, though. Unreal how Trap gets away with it all."

Bohemians midfielder Ryan McEvoy tweeted: "(It) clearly shows when he does attend games it's PR stunt. And no, I'm not saying players should be selected from this league but the massive level of disrespect shown there is a disgrace. Sums up everything that's wrong in FAI atm (at the moment)."

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