View Full Version : And you thought that the FA were incompetent.........

Len Ganley Stance
11-09-2007, 07:35
The f*ckers who run the Football Association of Ireland should be lined up against the nearest wall and shot. They are the most incompetent bunch of idiots on this planet. Roy Keane definitely was right.

From today's Guardian.

Family mix-up costs Irish the services of bereaved Ireland

Mistaken identity led to player flying home

Staunton says it is too late to call up a replacement

David Hytner in Prague
Tuesday September 11, 2007
The Guardian

As if sudden family bereavement were not draining enough, Stephen Ireland had to contend with a bizarre case of mistaken identity in the whirlwind 24 hours that saw him withdraw from the Republic of Ireland's squad for tomorrow's Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic.
Ireland was told of the loss of his grandmother on Saturday night, immediately after playing and scoring in the 2-2 draw with Slovakia in Bratislava. The Manchester City midfielder believed that the deceased was his maternal grandmother, who had been prominent in his upbringing in County Cork and to whom he was extremely close.

The Football Association of Ireland chartered a private jet to fly him to Manchester on Sunday morning and, en route to the airport, he spoke to the FAI official in the car with him about the relative that he cared for deeply.
Ireland would learn, however, that his maternal grandmother was still alive and the bereavement concerned his paternal grandmother.

"It's unfortunate that there has been a bereavement in Stephen's family and it's his grandmother," said Steve Staunton, the Ireland manager. "It's not on his mother's side, it's on his father's side. We were given the wrong information and so was he. That is not to say it's not the same. It's his grandmother, and we send him our best wishes, and that's the end of that."

How the wrong information was passed to Ireland remains a mystery. Ireland's girlfriend, having been informed of the bereavement, tried to contact him on Saturday afternoon but his mobile phone was switched off as he prepared for the Slovakia match. She eventually contacted an FAI administrative official, and the governing body, having waited until after the game, in which the player scored the opening goal, they told the player who promptly telephoned home.

The FAI granted Ireland leave on compassionate grounds and released a statement on Sunday afternoon in which Staunton said that the 21-year-old would not return for the Czech Republic tie in Prague. This remains the case.

"Stephen found out after the [Slovakia] match that his grandmother had died suddenly," said Staunton. "He was very close to her and so we made arrangements overnight to get him home as quickly as possible. It is very important that he is with his family at this sad time and, on behalf of the squad, I want to extend our sympathies to Stephen and his family."

The mistaken identity only emerged on Sunday night, by which time several daily newspapers had reported the death of Ireland's maternal grandmother in their first editions. Later editions were revised. Ireland's family life can be described as complicated and FAI officials worked long into the night to clear up the confusion over the bereavement.

"I was up half the night myself," said Staunton, who added that he had spoken to Ireland yesterday morning. "The [deceased] grandmother is in London and the family don't know whether to move her back to Cork [for the funeral] or [have it in] London. That's their own business, so I think everybody should leave it lie now and respect the family."

Ireland's place in the team for the Czech game is expected to go to Charlton's Andy Reid, who was disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up against Slovakia. Stephen Hunt, the Reading winger, is also set to return in place of Celtic's Aiden McGeady, who struggled against the Slovaks, and Steve Finnan, the Liverpool full-back, who has a knee injury, remains at Anfield and has been ruled out.

"I think it's too late now [to call up anyone else]," said Staunton. "We were fortunate that we got no yellow cards on Saturday and we're OK. I was going to change the team whether Stephen [Ireland] was here or not. That was a very sapping pitch on Saturday and we'll freshen things up on Wednesday. It's a cup final for us and we knew we had to beat the Czechs. The worst scenario is we take the draw and then at least we have two home games to try and rectify it."

The Republic are third in qualifying group D, three points behind the second-placed Czechs, with four games to play. They face Germany and Cyprus in Dublin next month before finishing against Wales in Cardiff. The Czechs still have to go to Germany and finish with Slovakia at home and Cyprus away.