The BBC are reporting that Alex Bruce, an Englishman who has grandparents from both Northern and Southern Ireland is considering swapping the Republic of Ireland for Northern Ireland. Ordinarily, this would appear to be a good news story for Northern Irish football… except he already has 2 caps for playing for the Senior FAI side.
As I recently blogged, the issue of player defections (and indeed poaching) is a raw one in Northern Irish football at the moment. The IFA have been rightly irked by the actions of the FAI and indeed the people who have defected. For them now to be involved in a possible reversal seems to represent a sea change of approach, although one which smells of defeatism on the whole issue.
The IFA should be doing something, but surely not this… and surely not for someone who already has senior caps for another Association. Of course, it makes a mockery of the entire international game when someone can claim caps for one country yet still switch to another…
The IFA has a small pool of players and so this option might seem attractive… but honestly, no thanks, we don’t need to sink to this level.