Catholic Arena –

Ireland’s failing football team, who have only managed to beat lowly Andorra in the past year and a half, have been trying the usual corporate trick of repackaging failures under a woke banner recently. With controversies raging over their refusal to invest in grassroots games and criticism of their governance, the new management at the FAI have cleverly pursued woke politics as a shield for avoiding criticism for their catastrophic two years, in which their only victory came in a friendly against an Andorra side ranked 134th in the world.

With Ireland failing to qualify for Euro 2021, having to forfeit their right to host part of the event because of the government’s inability to fulfil their obligations to do so and now facing inevitable failure to qualify for World Cup 2022 also, the pressure is on the FAI. They deliberately made a point of kneeling before their game against Hungary, a gesture that pays deference to the BLM group who carried out numerous attacks on Catholic churches and people in 2020. Rather than come up with a new gesture that is not associated with this group, footballers are being told to stick with the BLM association, with footballers such as Rio Ferdinand calling people ‘idiots’ for opposing it. They could meet people half way, but this appears to be more about provoking and dividing people rather than stopping racism or uniting people at this stage. The boos during the Irish teams knee against Hungary emphasised the unnecessarily divisive nature of the act.

Hungary’s prolife leader Viktor Orban, who will meet Pope Francis in September, has commented on the boos for the knee today:

If you’re a guest in a country then understand its culture and do not provoke it.

Do not provoke the host … We can only see this gesture system from our cultural vantage point as unintelligible, as provocation.

The fans reacted the way those who are provoked usually react to provocation. They do not always choose the most elegant form (of reaction) but we have to understand their reasons … I agree with the fans.

this kneeling business. I don’t think this has any place on the pitch. Sport is about other things.

This is a hard, serious moral burden, but every nation must carry this burden on their own. They need to sort this out themselves.

Taking the knee before sports games is alien to us. Hungarians only knee before God, homeland and when they propose to their love. We expect those who wear the national uniform to fight and if necessary, die standing.

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