Now Ireland's parliament is upset that its girls soccer team has to play against Israel

Lawmakers summon president of the Football Association of Ireland, Paul Cooke, to explain why the U17 match is going forward; he agrees Israel's actions in Gaza are appalling, but is subject Union of European Football Associations

The girls' national soccer teams of Ireland and Israel are expected on Friday to meet as part of the second round of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, and the Irish – known for their almost unanimous support for the Palestinians – are not pleased about it.
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The president of the Football Association of Ireland, Paul Cooke, was summoned to the Irish legislature on Thursday and asked why he is allowing the match to take place.
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Paul Cooke
Paul Cooke
Paul Cooke
(Photo: Screenshot from X)
Cooke agreed that he is "appalled by what's happening in Gaza personally. What Israel is doing is unforgivable, but we are subject to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)." Furthermore, Cooke explained that, unlike the case of Russia, which invaded Ukraine, Israel has not been suspended by UEFA.
John Brady, a local anti-Israel politician from the Sinn Fein party, was unimpressed with Cooke's arguments and accused him of bias. Additionally, Cooke clarified that the Irish Football Association is working to organizing a "solidarity" match between a team composed of Irish League stars and a Palestinian national team.
Two weeks ago, a shameful incident occurred when the women's national basketball team of Ireland refused to shake hands with their Israeli counterparts before the game, which ended with the Blue and Whites defeating the Irish 87-57. Furthermore, the Irish players did not even step onto the court for the player presentations but remained near the substitutes' bench. Following the incident, Instagram decided to permanently shut down the account of the Irish Basketball Association.
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