Footballer Declan Rice apologises for ‘IRA’ social media posts

Declan Rice switched allegiance to England from the Republic of Ireland
Declan Rice switched allegiance to England from the Republic of Ireland
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New England midfielder Declan Rice has apologised for old social media posts he made as a teenager which appear to support the IRA.

The 20-year-old is set to feature in his first matchday squad for Gareth Southgate having had his switch of allegiance from the Republic of Ireland confirmed earlier this month.

A comment he made on Instagram in 2015 saying ‘My brudda. UP THE RA. Wait till we draw England’, and another post with the hashtag ‘UPTHERA’, have resurfaced and Rice has quickly apologised for them.

“I am aware that a poorly expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been been circulated on social media,” the West Ham man – who played for the Republic’s youth teams from under-16 to under-21 and the senior side three times – said in an Instagram story post.

“I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team-mates at the time could be negatively interpreted.

“While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”

The Football Association is aware of the historic posts.

“We are aware of the matter and will be writing to him to remind him of his responsibilities,” said an official.