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'If it creates disharmony, how can you unite to get behind the team?' - Northern Ireland braced for anthem debate

Rory Best and Jimmy Nesbitt among those suggesting ‘God Save The Queen’ should be replaced by a more ‘inclusive’ song

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Contentious: The anthem that is sung by the Northern Ireland team is a source of ‘disharmony’, according to some. Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Contentious: The anthem that is sung by the Northern Ireland team is a source of ‘disharmony’, according to some. Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Northern Ireland team stand for 'God Save the Queen' prior to the World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria at Windsor Park, Belfast last March. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

The Northern Ireland team stand for 'God Save the Queen' prior to the World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria at Windsor Park, Belfast last March. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Northern Ireland Vs Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland line up at the start of the match.

Northern Ireland Vs Hungary at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland line up at the start of the match.

Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill

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Contentious: The anthem that is sung by the Northern Ireland team is a source of ‘disharmony’, according to some. Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Northern Ireland’s centenary year has led to a re-examination of key events since Ireland was partitioned. But 2021 is also the centenary of another act of partition.

In 1921, football officials in Dublin decided they were fed up with what they perceived to be a northern bias at the Belfast-based Irish Football Association (IFA).


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