Michael O’Neill, the former Northern Ireland manager has hit out at the FAI's attempts to target players on the island.
O’Neill gave an interview to the Belfast Telegraph. The strong allegations were previewed by the paper for the latest episode of "A Game of Two Halves' ' as part of UTV’s up close series.
The show also explores why some young players from here choose to play for the Republic despite efforts to make Northern Irish football more inclusive and asks whether a unique Northern Ireland national anthem would help unite players and fans.
— Ian Woods (@IanWoodsMedia) December 5, 2021
O’Neill said the FAI only go after nationalists as they feel and believe that the Republic is the only destination for Irish footballers
“The FAI have a right to choose any player, but they only approach one side of the community to play,” said O’Neill.
“I think there’s a sense of realism that they feel that only one side of the community will make that decision.”
The FAI have stated their relationship with Irish football is the most important aspect,
“The Football Association of Ireland is committed to maintaining and developing our excellent relationship with the Irish Football Association and we will continue to work together for the betterment of the game for every player on this island.”
Martin O’Neill, the former Northern Ireland captain and Republic of Ireland manager, also gave his take on the situation but didn't have an answer to the problem.
“You certainly feel the North is handicapped in many ways by the rules as they stand. Maybe they should be looked at again, I don’t know.”
A Game of Two Halves is due to be aired on UTV on Tuesday at 8 pm.
Former Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill says @NorthernIreland is “handicapped in many ways” by the rule which allows players to switch sides. #GameOfTwoHalves Tuesday 8pm UTV. #GAWA pic.twitter.com/BsfOlMEYXh
— Ian Woods (@IanWoodsMedia) December 6, 2021