Irish women’s football players apologize for using pro-IRA chant

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The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) issued an apology following the release of a video showing players singing a sectarian song following a World Cup qualifying match.

On Wednesday, the FAI and Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw apologized “from the bottom of our hearts” after a video of players performing the song in support of the paramilitary Irish Republican Army surfaced on social media.

The IRA led an insurgency in northern Ireland against British rule from the late 1960s to early 2000s. Major part of the period of conflict, known as The Troubles, led to thousands of deaths and injuries to more than 40,000 people.

The said video appeared to show the women’s squad singing “Ooh ah, up the ‘RA” as they appeared to be celebrating their 1-0 victory over Scotland at Glasgow’s Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

The Republic’s victory in the playoffs earned them a spot in their first-ever Women’s World Cup.

Pauw stated, “We will review this with the players and remind them of their responsibilities in this regard.”

“I have spoken with players this morning and we are sorry collectively for any hurt caused, there can be no excuse for that.”

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney was questioned about the event at discussions with party leaders in Northern Ireland, which is governed by the UK.

Leader of the Pro-UK Ulster Unionist Party Doug Beattie said the clip was a kick in the teeth for some of those who praised the team and those supporters who lost loved ones at the hands of the IRA.


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