Tuesday , March 21 2023

Neill will talk to McClean about the conflict in Northern Ireland


Martin O'Neill has to talk to David McClean, amid fears that he might be targeted by fans of Northern Ireland in connection with his decision not to wear a Thanksgiving core.

Midfielder Stoke was once again on the launch line in the run-up to the Armistice Day, due to his longstanding stance against the veterans' annual tribute to the war veterans, and avoided sanction from the Football Association following his social annoyance.

Campaigners have called on football authorities to eliminate what they call anti-Irish racism in the game following the incidents involving McClean and Hibernian chief Neil Lennon.

In the short term, the Derry Republic of Ireland, whose objections relate to Troubles in Northern Ireland, may have to go back to the Aviva stadium during Thursday night's friendship.

Asked if he feared it could be a problem, O Neill said, "James had a sickness in the family yesterday, so I could not have the opportunity to talk to him. He came just in the morning, though he was trained this morning and I'll talk to him in the next 24 hours.

"Of course, I hope it will not be a problem, but I do not know."

However, Captain Seamus Coleman urged supporters to respect McClean's decision, which he explained in an articulated statement during his time at Wigan and insisted that he would proudly wear a poppy if he did not only commemorate the deaths of the two world wars and not the subsequent conflicts.

Coleman said, "Look, James is well prepared to do it, as the people know." James clearly expressed his view of the poppy situation three or four years ago when he was at Wigan.

"He made a statement and tried to be just as respectful in this statement and I think he has to be respected for his decision.

"A part of Ireland has been raised, it is close to it at home and has opinions on it and we are in a world where people should respect people's views."

It will be a significant evening for his colleague, Derryman O'Neill, who has won 64 caps for Northern Ireland and got them famous as they reached the quarterfinals of the 1982 World Cup after defeating the hosts Spain.

Asked if he was in conflict at any time, O Neill said, "After spending that moment in the north, after being covered 64 times, I think it will be occasional, yes.

"Of course, we had a great time with the North, and we had a very nice turn, especially in 1982, and the night in Valencia will be remembered forever. It was great, beating the host nation, Spain, and reaching the end of the quarter. "

Neill lost striker Shane Long to the accident and included Southampton teammate Michael Obafemi, 18, who also qualifies for England and Nigeria.

He also retains the hope of persuading Declan Rice to opt for the Republic of Ireland after the teenager has indicated in an interview that he still has to make the decision, and England wants to secure his services.

Neill said: "I have always been hopeful, but I have never been more than that. But it seems he is clearly in conflict.

Source link