Ireland’s World Cup Bound Heroes Blot Copybook With ‘Ra Chant As Boss Apologises

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ROI - Women's Team - Celebration

The Republic of Ireland Women’s have issued an apology after they were filmed chanting a well-known IRA slogan as they blotted their copybook in the midst of their World Cup play-off celebrations last night.

Manager Vera Pauw, said a “shadow” has been cast over their qualification for the 2023 FiFa World Cup finals as a result of their actions.

The ‘Girls in Green’ made it to a first ever tournament following their 1-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park.

Donegal’s Amber Barrett scored the winning goal, 18 minutes from time. The finals will take place in Australia and New Zealand next summer, with the draw to take place on Saturday week.

Dutch woman Pauw told Sky Sports News, that she was not in the dressing room at the time and would not have recognised the song if she was.

However she has accepted full responsibility for the incident.

I’ve been talking to the players and they are devastated. I’ve been talking with the CEO and the president.

For me, it’s very important that respect is the first thing that we emit and, as soon as we do not emit respect, we have a problem.

What we did was wrong because of the history. We know it.

I must admit that if I had been in the dressing room I would not have recognised it because that is the downside of having a foreign coach. I would not have been able to do anything about it.

But that doesn’t mean that I do not have responsibilities. I take full responsibility for what happened and we will address it further.”

Pauw admitted the incident “does put a shadow” over the Republic of Ireland’s achievement of reaching their first Women’s World Cup, adding that players would “need to accept” any punishments that are handed down, including potential international bans.

We have done a thing that hurt people. It’s no excuse that we did not mean to hurt anyone, it’s not an excuse that we were celebrating. Our key value is that we respect people so I truly apologise.

Our way of dealing with our values is that our freedoms stop when we enter the freedoms of somebody else and that is what happened. We have hurt people and it doesn’t matter if we didn’t intend it or not – we should have known better.

The players are truly hurt by the fact they hurt others. I have spoken with the player who put it on social media. She’s devastated, she’s crying in her room because she hurt people and she never meant it.

I would like, on behalf of all the players, my staff, myself, to apologise for what has happened. Let’s treat it as an education of our responsibilities.

It’s not because it got put on social media because, if it hadn’t been put on social media, it’s still wrong. We shouldn’t have done it and we will never do it again.”

A statement from the FAI was released on Wednesday morning and it reads:

‘The Football Association of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland Ireland Women’s National Team Manager Vera Pauw apologise 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 over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
“Ireland manager Vera Pauw said, ‘We apologise from the bottom of our hearts to anyone who has been offended by the content of the post-match celebrations after we had just qualified for the World Cup.
‘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.'”