NI fans on social media: ‘We just have to get on with it’

Northern Ireland fans pictured during the first leg against Switzerland
Northern Ireland fans pictured during the first leg against Switzerland

Disheartened Northern Ireland fans appeared to accept the possibility of a rematch with Switzerland is a distant one.

In a discussion on the News Letter’s Facebook page yesterday morning – following the publication of an article revealing the IFA are in talks with FIFA over the poor refereeing in the Windsor Park match against Switzerland – most agreed that a rematch is unlikely.

Northern Ireland vs Switzerland.'Northern Ireland's Corry Evans and Chris Brunt. 'Credit �INPHO/Presseye/Brian Little

Northern Ireland vs Switzerland.'Northern Ireland's Corry Evans and Chris Brunt. 'Credit �INPHO/Presseye/Brian Little

Although unlikely, it is not entirely without precedent as earlier this week a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal was replayed. The tie was originally won 2-1 by South Africa after Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey awarded them a controversial penalty. However, FIFA ordered the rematch after the referee was later banned for match fixing.

Simon Wright was one of those discussing the precedent set in the African qualification rematch.

“The South Africa vs Senegal game was replayed because of a corrupt referee,” he wrote.

“There will be no replay if our instance is just deemed to be incompetence.”

Another, Carla Dallas, summed up the prevailing mood amongst Northern Ireland fans when she wrote: “Whilst I would love this to happen (a rematch), I really can’t see it! It would open the floodgates for so many other calls for replay. “

Another raised the prospect of financial compensation, writing: “They deserve compensation, particularly given the precedent set in the Henry case.”

Eric Engleby expressed a similar view, writing: “The ROI got a big pay off when they got robbed.”

Others poked some gentle fun at fans calling for a rematch, posting still images from the Disney film ‘Frozen’ along with the words of one of its most catchy tunes – ‘let it go’.

Stuart Neilly was one of those to take a more pragmatic approach to any rematch, writing: “Trying to sandwich in a random international between domestic and European football in such short notice would be impossible.”