IFA ‘out of tune’ in anthem row


A former director of Glentoran Football Club has slammed the decision not to play the national anthem at this year’s Irish Cup Final as a “total and absolute disgrace”.

It emerged yesterday that the national anthem will not be played as Glentoran take on Cliftonville in the showpiece final at Windsor Park on Saturday, May 4.

The decision was taken by the IFA’s Challenge Cup Committee in the interests of fostering a “politically neutral environment” for the game.

Former Glentoran director and UUP councillor Jim Rodgers said when he goes to football matches in Dublin he stands respectfully for the national anthem, and that he cannot see why the national anthem cannot be played in Belfast.

He said the UUP plans to meet the IFA to discuss the matter.

An Irish Football Association spokesman said the playing of the anthem at future finals would be reviewed on a case by case basis, adding there would be no further comment on the matter.