FIFA open disciplinary proceedings against Ireland for 1916 commemorative jersey

Football's governing body has decided to take action over the symbol displayed on the Irish jersey

Ireland, Switzerland, 1916, Easter,

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

FIFA have decided to open disciplinary proceedings against the Republic of Ireland for wearing a symbol commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising. 

Football's governing body has decided to progress with the disciplinary action according to the BBC, after the Irish side wore the commemorative shirt for a fixture against Switzerland in March of 2016. 

The game's laws state that players' equipment should not carry any commercial, political or religious messages, and the issue was back in the headlines this week after FIFA took a firm stance with both the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the English Football Association (FA) over their request to wear a poppy on their kits to mark Armistice Day.

British Prime Minster Theresa May addressed the controversy earlier this week in the House of Commons, stating that it was "utterly outrageous" and that FIFA needed to "jolly well sort their own house out." 

Damian Collins MP, chairman of the Commons' Culture, Media and Sport select committee, also lobbied FIFA to reverse their stance on the matter, pointing out in an interview with BBC Radio 4 that Ireland had done something similar in wearing commemorative jerseys for the centenary of the Easter Rising.

At the time, the move was also criticised by some politicians, such as DUP MLA Nelson McCausland.

He stated that wearing the that it was an "uncritical endorsement of the Easter rebellion by the government and others in the Irish Republic, including the FAI, [which] reinforces a republican narrative which has, down through the years, drawn young people into the IRA and other republican terrorist organisations."

In a short statement, FIFA said: "we can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened on this matter. Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage nor speculate on any outcome."

Speaking to Newstalk.com, a FIFA representative added they could not confirm when the hearing would be taking place or a decision would be made.