Irish Football Association reject request not to play ‘God Save the Queen’ at Irish Cup Final 2 years ago

Irish Football Association reject request not to play ‘God Save the Queen’ at Irish Cup Final

A request from Cliftonville FC has been rejected ahead of Saturday’s final.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) has rejected a request from Cliftonville FC not to play ‘God Save the Queen’ ahead of the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Coleraine on Saturday.

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Ahead of the encounter at Windsor Park, Cliftonville made a written request to the IFA asking for the UK national anthem not to be played before kick-off, but that request has been turned down.

A statement by the IFA on the matter read: “Following a written request from Cliftonville Football club, the Board of the Irish Football Association met tonight (3 May), and considered the playing of the National Anthem at the Irish Cup final.

“The members expressed sympathy for Cliftonville's position, but decided that the current Board policy, agreed in August 2013, should stand.

“Therefore, the National Anthem will be played before the match.”

In 2013, the IFA made the decision not to play ‘God Save the Queen’ before the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville – whose support base is predominantly from the nationalist community in Belfast – and Glentoran to help foster a “politically neutral environment”.

The IFA took the same decision before an Irish Cup Final in 2009 between Cliftonville and Crusaders, but the decision to do so again in 2013 met with protests from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

Cliftonville released a brief statement in response to the IFA’s decision on Thursday night, which read: “Cliftonville Football Club note tonight’s Irish Football Association statement following the decision of the majority of the IFA Board in regards to the playing of an anthem at this year’s Irish Cup Final.

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“We will be making no further comment until after the final.”