Republic of Ireland news

FAI fined by UEFA over pro-IRA song in women's world cup play-off celebrations

Republic of Ireland players celebrate following victory over Scotland at Hampden Park in October
Suzanne McGonagle

THE Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has been fined more than £17,000 by UEFA after members of its senior women's team sang a pro-IRA song following their World Cup play-off win over Scotland.

Footage emerged online showing some of the Republic of Ireland players chanting 'Ooh Ah Up the Ra' following the win in October.

The video appeared to have been taken from an Instagram live stream in the dressing-room as the jubilant players celebrated reaching the World Cup finals for the first time.

UEFA later confirmed it was investigating the incident for potential inappropriate behaviour.

Yesterday UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) announced it had fined the FAI £17,271 over the incident, describing it as "a violation of the basic rules of decent conduct".

The FAI and Republic women's boss Vera Pauw apologised at the time "for any offence caused by a song sung by players in the Ireland dressing room after the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying play-off win".

"It's quite right that it's taken some shine off because this goes deep into the history of Ireland," said Ms Pauw.

"It doesn't matter if the players meant anything or not - because they didn't mean anything with it - it's a celebration that occurs, but that doesn't mean that they (shouldn't) realise what they're doing.

"If it's in a private room, it should not happen either.

"We've hurt people and we are very, very deeply sorry for that."

The Republic's players Aine O'Gorman and Chloe Mustai also apologised and called the moment a "lapse in judgment".

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