Thursday 25 April 2019

James McClean believes a tennis ball protest from Irish fans would be 'pointless and stupid'

James McClean and Seamus Coleman during Republic of Ireland Squad Training at FAI NTC, Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
James McClean and Seamus Coleman during Republic of Ireland Squad Training at FAI NTC, Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has urged fans not to engage in any protest that would disrupt tonight's Euro 2020 qualifier with Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.

Reports have suggested some fans are planning protests - one claims supporters will throw tennis balls on to the pitch against controversial outgoing Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney, who, it was announced on Saturday evening, is to take up the newly-created role of executive vice-president.

The Derry native told Sky Sports that he didn't think that a tennis ball protest would achieve anything.

"Throwing tennis balls on the pitch, what does it achieve?," he said.

"I think it's pointless and stupid.

"You've seen it happen a few times in games and I just don't see the point in it because throwing tennis balls on the pitch isn't going to get someone to change.

"I just think it's stupid, you're just disrupting the game and I just don't see any benefit to it whatsoever."

Yesterday, Mick McCarthy urged supporters to back the team.

He said: "I've been at games, I've been at Charlton when people have done it, and it's not going to help us play any better, that's for sure, so I hope that's not the case.

"They're coming to watch a football match and they want us to win and give us the best chance, and that's getting behind us and not having any outside influences affecting that.

"But I can't do anything about it if they do. Maybe I'll take a tennis racket with me."

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