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All-Ireland team good for soccer

(Editorial, Irish News)

The suggestion from the Irish foreign minister Dermot Ahern that the northern and southern football associations should merge to form a single governing body has received a predictably frosty response.

However, claims from some quarters that such a move would be 'impossible' under international football regulations might come as a surprise to sports administrators in Germany.

In the early 1990s, they were able to amalgamate the two separate groups which previously organised soccer in the former East and West Germany.

The European football authority Uefa also saw its membership rise dramatically through the creation of new associations after the break-up of the Soviet Union, so adapting to different circumstances has not proved a problem in the past.

Although any change here is very much a long-term prospect, soccer remains the only major sport which divides Ireland into two jurisdictions.

Fielding a single team, as the late George Best advocated, could only improve standards and increase the chances of our best players from both the north and south making a real impact on the world stage.

March 20, 2007
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This article appeared first in the January 23, 2007 edition of the Irish News.


This article appears thanks to the Irish News. Subscribe to the Irish News



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