‘They’re just not my team’: the issue of player allegiances within Irish football, 2007–2012

David Hassan, Conor Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Rarely, it seems, is the interplay between sport and politics, or perhaps more accurately sport and identity, so apparent as in Ireland. Whilst there has been a considerable degree of work undertaken in examining the historiography of the indigenous sporting organization, the Gaelic Athletic Association, the level of focus on other sports in Ireland has, in comparison, been somewhat more modest. This essay considers the emergence and outworking of the player eligibility dispute between the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), as the governing body of the game in the Republic of Ireland, and the Irish Football Association, their counterparts in Northern Ireland, focussing specifically on the height of this dispute between 2007 and 2012. Drawing upon interview material from players who previously have not spoken about their personal decision to leave Northern Ireland and play for the Republic of Ireland, a combination of social, personal and political factors, combined, allow for a detailed account of this process to be established. It profiles a long-running and difficult rivalry between soccer authorities on a small island on the western seaboard of Europe but where passions remain high in both sport and politics.
LanguageEnglish
JournalSport in Society
Volume35
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Nov 2017

Fingerprint

Ireland
Sports
republic
politics
soccer
political factors
historiography
organization
interview

Keywords

  • Northern Ireland
  • Sport
  • Politics
  • Football
  • Republic of Ireland

Cite this

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title = "‘They’re just not my team’: the issue of player allegiances within Irish football, 2007–2012",
abstract = "Rarely, it seems, is the interplay between sport and politics, or perhaps more accurately sport and identity, so apparent as in Ireland. Whilst there has been a considerable degree of work undertaken in examining the historiography of the indigenous sporting organization, the Gaelic Athletic Association, the level of focus on other sports in Ireland has, in comparison, been somewhat more modest. This essay considers the emergence and outworking of the player eligibility dispute between the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), as the governing body of the game in the Republic of Ireland, and the Irish Football Association, their counterparts in Northern Ireland, focussing specifically on the height of this dispute between 2007 and 2012. Drawing upon interview material from players who previously have not spoken about their personal decision to leave Northern Ireland and play for the Republic of Ireland, a combination of social, personal and political factors, combined, allow for a detailed account of this process to be established. It profiles a long-running and difficult rivalry between soccer authorities on a small island on the western seaboard of Europe but where passions remain high in both sport and politics.",
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note = "Reference text: Alejandro, Quiroga. Football and National Identities in Spain: The Strange Death of Don Quixote, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. [Google Scholar] Bairner, A., and G. Walker. ‘Football and Society in Northern Ireland: Linfield Football Club and the Case of Gerry Morgan’. Soccer & Society 2, no. 1 (2002): 81–98.[Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar] ‘CAS Upholds Kearns’ Ireland Switch’. The Belfast Telegraph, July 30, 2010. [Google Scholar] Collins, Jude. ‘Against a Brick Wall: Sport and Understanding in N Ireland Schools’. Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review 85, no. 340 (Winter 1996): 323–333. [Google Scholar] ‘Court Ruling to Decide Kearns’ Republic Fate’. The Sunday Independent, July 18, 2010. [Google Scholar] ‘Darron Gibson’s the Real Deal’. The Belfast Telegraph, December 3. [Google Scholar] ‘Del Bosque Calls up Costa after Striker Opts to Play for Spain’. The Irish times, November 8, 2013. [Google Scholar] Dixon, Paul. Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.10.1007/978-1-137-05424-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar]",
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‘They’re just not my team’: the issue of player allegiances within Irish football, 2007–2012. / Hassan, David; Murray, Conor.

In: Sport in Society, Vol. 35, 21.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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