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Joint team a win-win

The elephant in the room regarding Irish soccer is why a small island, with a population of less than 7m people, has two teams in international competitions.

Over the last decade, both teams have had abysmal records. The only way forward is a single team, representing all of Ireland.

Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland wear similar green jerseys. A single team would ensure a higher standard of play, more competition for places, and less disruption from injuries. At a time when the Republic’s management team is led by Martin O’Neill from Northern Ireland, assisted by Roy Keane, from the south, surely this would be a good time to make this bold step.

And the FAI and IFA need not amalgamate nor lose their identity — just field a joint international side to restore Irish pride. Their rugby counterparts seem to have no difficulty fielding an all-Ireland side, which punches considerably above its weight in international competitions.

What is there to lose?

Des MacHale




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