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Ireland women’s football team apologizes after being filmed singing pro-IRA chants

The Ireland women’s national team has been forced to apologize after singing a pro-IRA song in their dressing room after beating Scotland in a World Cup qualifier.

The players were filmed dancing and singing “Ooh ah, up the Ra” after qualifying for their first-ever major tournament last night.

The chant from the Wolfe Tones’ Celtic Symphony is associated with support for the Irish Republican Army, which carried out a series of bombings and assassinations during its long campaign of terror.

After footage taken in the dressing room at Hampden Park in Glasgow circulated on social media, the Football Association of Ireland and the team’s manager Vera Pauw issued an apology.

Dutchman Pauw said the player who posted the video on his social media was in tears after the turn, adding that the incident cast “a shadow” on the team’s performance.

The FAI said: “The Football Association of Ireland and the manager of the Republic of Ireland women’s national team, Vera Pauw, apologize for any offense caused by a song played by players in the Ireland dressing room after winning the qualifying play -off to the FIFA Women’s World Cup was sung by Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.”

Pauw added: “We apologize from the bottom of our hearts to anyone who felt offended by the content of the post-game celebrations having just qualified for the World Cup.

“We will discuss this with the players and remind them of their responsibilities in this regard.

“I spoke to players this morning and we collectively apologize for any injuries caused, there can be no apologies for that.”

Pauw also told Sky Sports News: “We are more disappointed in ourselves for breaking that rule than anything and we are so sorry that we have hurt people.

“It was unnecessary. I have already spoken to several players about this and the one who posted it is devastated, she is crying in her room. She’s so, so sorry.

“I told her it’s wrong, but not just wrong of her, it’s wrong that this song was sung with the meaning it has.

“There is no excuse for that. If I had been there I honestly wouldn’t have recognized it because I’m a foreigner, I don’t know the song, I don’t know what it means.

“I asked, ‘Did you know what you sing? And they said, “Of course we know, but we didn’t feel it. It shouldn’t hurt anyone.” But that’s no excuse.”

She added that her problem was that the song was being sung at all, not that it was appearing online.

Pauw said, “That’s the mistake people often make, that they think, ‘Well, it shouldn’t have gone out.’ No, that shouldn’t have happened. It’s not like it worked out, it shouldn’t have happened.

“So without cameras it’s the same because even then you don’t show respect to the people who have suffered.

‘It doesn’t work in a private atmosphere either, because respect is something that carries you through everything, through your whole life, and we, yes, we have this value as the highest point.’

During a barbecue on Sky Sports, player Chloe Mustaki denied that her team-mates needed any updates on Irish history to presenter Rob Wotton.

She said: “Look, we’re incredibly embarrassed at this moment, didn’t want to hurt each other on our part, so we really apologize for that.

“I think we have to learn to be better and do better in these moments. You know, we all grew up knowing a lot about Irish history.

“So we just have to be better in moments like these and we absolutely recognize that on our side.”

Ireland secured their place in the 2023 tournament, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand, after a 72nd-minute win from substitute Amber Barrett.

Some of their players have repeated the federation’s and their coach’s apologies.

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