Northern Irish side bow heads and ignore ‘God Save Queen’ in cup final
Cliftonville’s players ignored the UK national anthem ahead of the Irish Cup final clash with Coleraine on Saturday afternoon.
The Northern Irish team bowed their head as ‘God Save Queen’ played prior to kick-off before facing the Bannsiders at Windsor Park in Belfast.
Irish News journalist Brendan Crossan captured footage which he posted on Twitter which appears to show Cliftonville fans cheering on their side’s decision to bow their heads.
Coleraine went on to win the final 3-1, clinching their first since 2003.
The club later tweeted: "Not the outcome we wanted this afternoon, but thank you for your magnificent support. Congratulations to Coleraine."
It comes as the club had a request for the anthem not to be played denied by the Irish Football Association.
The IFA did actually agree to drop God Save The Queen in 2013 when Cliftonville met Glentoran in the final in order to create a “politically neutral environment”.
But they refused this time round, with an IFA spokesman saying: "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.
"The board also committed to conducting a future stakeholder review of the issue."
A spokesman for the Solitude club responded, saying: "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.
"We will be making no further comment until after the Final."
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