UEFA fined Ireland’s football association €20,000 for “breaching basic rules of decent behaviour”. Reason: Irish players sing “Celtic Symphony” after successful World Cup qualification.
Problem: Critics complain about the positive attitude towards the militant IRA (Irish Republican Army) in the song “The Wolf Tones” by the Irish band.
Rückblick: Irish footballers qualified for the World Cup for the first time on 11 October with a 1-0 win over Scotland. After this, the video of the celebrations in the dressing room went viral on the internet. In it, the team members repeatedly sing “Ooh up the ra”. The line of text refers to the IRA, but also to a graffiti. According to songwriter Brian Warfield, who wrote the song in 1987 to celebrate the centenary of Scottish football club Celtic Glasgow, it’s not a political statement but an observation of the times.
The Football Association of Ireland apologized the day after the video emerged and sparked controversy. “We sincerely apologize to everyone who was offended by the content of our post-game celebrations,” national team coach Vera Pau said. Sorry to all involved.
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