Gordon Sharrock: Ireland game would be big hooligan risk

First published in Gordon Sharrock

IT has been suggested for some time – mainly in Ireland I should point out – that the Football Association has some sort of obligation to play a friendly in Dublin after English hooligans forced the abandonment of the last fixture there in 1995.

Now, 16 years on, it appears the FA is prepared to provide the opposition for a warm-up friendly ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

It’s obviously a big money spinner for the Irish, but is it worth the risk?

Surely it presents yet another opportunity for that disreputable band of thugs who attach themselves to our national team and bring shame on the very flags to which they claim to pledge their misguided allegiance. No one should be fooled into thinking football hooliganism is a thing of the past just because in recent times it has been repeatedly overshadowed by the shameful behaviour of some of the game’s high profile players.

The Ministry of Defence are considering using surface-to-air missiles to keep the skies above London safe during the Olympics.

I suggest they have a dress rehearsal and lock a few heat-seekers onto the hooligans as they cross the Irish Sea, and send the bill to the FA of Ireland.

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