Ireland show support for LGBT community in friendly against US
Some fans have welcomed the team’s football shirt as pride month begins.
Ireland’s national football team are displaying the rainbow flag on their shirts as LGBT pride month kicks off.
The team are wearing the shirts in their international friendly match against the US on Saturday.
A picture posted on social media by FAI shows John O’Shea’s shirt adorned with a rainbow-hued number four.
“Not just a number, this is a statement. Ireland, supporting #LGBT rights,” FAI wrote on Twitter.
Announced by FA Ireland on Friday, fans were thrilled by the move made in support of the Republic of Ireland’s LGBT community.
Yes. Yes. Yes. You’ve made me almost want to watch football. Keep up the good work. 🌈— Aisling WE ONLY BLOODY DID IT IRELAND Bea (@WeeMissBea) June 2, 2018
“Another proud day for Irish football,” wrote Twitter user @anitathoma, while @DaithiDoolan said: “Excellent idea. Important to promote equality off and on the pitch.”
Another proud day for Irish football— anita thoma (@anitathoma) June 2, 2018
Excellent idea. Important to promote equality on & off the pitch.— Cllr. Daithí Doolan (@DaithiDoolan) June 1, 2018
This is pretty class by @FAIreland , I read a few sneery comments about this but somewhere in Ireland a young soccer fan who is struggling to accept who they are will see this and realise being who they are is perfectly ok #LGBT #itgetsbetter #EqualGame #COYBIG #COYGIG https://t.co/9Tmzbm2sMQ— Adam McDermott (@AdamMcD91) June 1, 2018
Some fans were also quick to point out that the statement was not political and therefore not in breach of UEFA rules.
LGBT Right is not a political subject hence why it's allowed - it's about highlight pride month and trying to show others that gay people can be open in football and not ashamed - which is the current stigma— Adam (@adamofknowledge) June 1, 2018
It's not to preach about being pro or anti gay rights - it's to educate people on the importance of mutual respect and empathy for all. It's just a case of trying to make more people feel welcomed and belonging in the football community— Adam (@adamofknowledge) June 1, 2018
The match will be a significant one as it will see John O’Shea conclude his 17-year international career. Saturday will mark his 118th appearance for the team.
Pride month takes place around the world each June.