Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
“Video footage has emerged which clearly shows a large body of Linfield fans engaging in sectarian chanting and songs. There are also altercations by supporters with members of An Garda and several pitch stewards.”
“Given the clarity of the footage there should be no problem in the IFA identifying those involved and sanctioning them for their behaviour. If the IFA are sincere about stamping out sectarianism within Irish soccer they need to show leadership on this issue.” - Oliver McMullan, Sinn Féin.
When Sinn Féin get involved in football matters it’s sure make plenty of people’s blood boil.
One of the big football stories in Ireland this week involves accusations of sectarianism against Linfield fans during their trip south of the border against Shamrock Rovers.
Facing off in the Setanta Cup, Linfield fans have been blamed for sectarian intolerance after (1) their supporters sang sectarian songs during the match with Shamrock Rovers, (2) Linfield fans removed a Tricolour from a flagpole at the stadium and replaced it with a Union flag, and (3) a couple of Linfield fans were arrested following skirmishes with local police.
Amid the angry finger-pointing, a video is quickly clocking up views on YouTube showing the raucous mini pitch invasion that the Linfield fans staged after their team scored their lone goal in the 4-1 defeat at Shamrock.
The video has become central to those angry with the Linfield supporters, in particular an image 2.20 minutes into the video which captures a couple of fans manhandling an Irish police officer to the ground during some hyper scenes.
Watch the Linfield fans going barmy below.