FAI recognises 1924 Olympic Games matches as first-ever men's international fixtures

FAI recognises 1924 Olympic Games matches as first-ever men's international fixtures

The Football Association of Ireland has formally recognised the 1924 Ireland fixtures, including matches at the Olympic Games in Paris, as the first official senior international men's matches. This follows re-classification and approval from the FAI Board.

Initially considered senior internationals, these matches were re-classified as amateur games by FIFA in the 1960s. In 1999, FIFA allowed associations to self-determine reclassification.

"A huge day in the history of the Football Association of Ireland... as we formally reclassify and recognise the achievements of the 1924 side," said FAI President Paul Cooke.

"Firstly, I want to thank and congratulate the committee of Gary, Paul, Tadhg, Aodhán and Gerry for all of the incredible research and work that went into the proposal. Their tireless efforts has led to the recognition and reclassification of these matches, which means the living relatives of the players will be able to join us to formally celebrate their achievements.

"To be able to pass this motion 100 years after the matches and in the same year as the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris gives the Association a great opportunity to recognise the importance these matches have in our shared history and a valued addition to the Irish footballing tradition."

"The players from the Paris Olympics of 1924 were true trailblazers of Irish sport," added committee member Tadhg Carey. "It is fitting that they are being recognised and these games reclassified as senior internationals. It restores these footballers to their rightful place in the history books."

"The efforts they made laid the foundation for those that came after them. It is great that their story is being told to a new generation of Irish football," said committee member and football historian Gary Spain.

The matches will be formally recognised at an event on May 27 and during the Ireland vs. Hungary match on June 4 at the Aviva Stadium. Relatives of the 1924 players, tracked down by the committee, will be invited to celebrate their achievements. The FAI also seeks public help in locating relatives of Mick Farrell, Frank Collins, and trainer Charlie Harris.