Sport Soccer

Monday 22 January 2018

'Ireland' twitter message sparks comeback rumour

THE vexed issue of Stephen Ireland's international future popped back on to the agenda yesterday after a message on a Twitter account in his name made reference to calling Giovanni Trapattoni, WRITES DANIEL McDONNELL.

With a proliferation of sports stars now popping up on the social network site, there is always the danger of impersonation. Leading users, such as Rio Ferdinand and Ian Poulter, have had their pages verified by Twitter authorities, which means their followers know they are not dealing with fakes.

The Stephen Ireland page doesn't carry that seal of approval and has been largely inactive since it was set up in April, 2009.

Yesterday's update, which read, "Might have to give Trap a buzz to get a game," was the first message since July 30 and is more relevant to Ireland's current struggles with Aston Villa rather than his desire to represent his country. However, it set off a wave of speculation he was ready to return to the green jersey.

Prior to that, the messages posted were largely nondescript, with the only remotely controversial comment related to seven minutes of injury-time at Old Trafford in last year's tempestuous Manchester derby.

However, UK journalists were told by Manchester City officials that the account in question was nothing to do with the Cobh native.

Irish Independent

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