Ireland boss Vera Pauw issues grovelling apology after players’ pro-IRA dressing room chant

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THE FAI and Vera Pauw have apologised for some players singing a pro-IRA chant as they celebrated Ireland’s World Cup qualification. 

The Girls in Green secured a spot at next year’s World Cup finals with a 1-0 win over Scotland in Hampden Park last night. 

But footage quickly emerged of some players singing “Ooh Ahh, Up the RA” after a squad member went on Instagram live from the dressing room. 

Now, Pauw and the Association have quickly moved to apologise for the inappropriate song. 

In a statement, FAI chiefs said: “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.”

And 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.”

Speaking at a press conference back in Dublin, Pauw added: “We are sincerely, deeply sorry for what happened. It doesn’t matter if the players meant anything or not – it’s about having respect for everybody, for the history.

“That (respect) is the first thing in our line, the first sentence, in my team everybody has respect because there is always respect to everybody around us.

“So we are more disappointed in ourselves that we have overstepped that rule than anything else and we are so sorry that we have hurt people.”

She added: “It was unnecessary. I have spoken already with several players about it and the one who posted it is devastated, she is crying in her room.

“She is so, so sorry. I said to her that it is wrong but not only wrong from her, it’s wrong that that song has been sung with the meaning that it has.

“There is no excuse for it. If I would have been there, to be honest, I would not have recognised it [the song’s significance] because I am a foreigner, I don’t know the song, I don’t know what it means.

“I asked, ‘Did you know what you were singing?’ And they said, ‘Of course we know it but we didn’t feel it. It was not meant to hurt anyone’.

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