English FA apologizes for fans' anti-IRA chants

Wednesday November 19th, 2014

The English Football Association has apologized for any offense caused by fans' anti-IRA chants during England's friendly vs. Scotland on Tuesday, according to Owen Gibson of The Guardian

The FA had to intervene after large sections of England's fans used the band's song "Follow England Away" as an opportunity for an anti-IRA chant in the first half of the match in Glasgow, which England won 3-1. 

According to The Guardian, the FA contacted band members to request the song to not be played again. The band obliged and the chants did not occur in the second half. 

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England band leader John Hemmingham said he did not realize some fans were using the song for the offensive chant, according to BBC. 

"All the fans around us were singing "Follow England Away," he said. "It was only when a band member saw on Twitter that some people were saying we were playing anti-IRA songs that we became aware. Then we immediately stopped and played something else."

England manager Roy Hodgson said he "didn't have a clue" what the team's fans were chanting, but does not condone it. 

According to Gibson, the FA said it will meet with supporters groups to discuss "wider issues."

- Molly Geary

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