Sky Sports News presenter criticised for asking if Ireland team 'need educating' about controversial song

Sky Sports News presenter criticised for asking if Ireland team 'need educating' about controversial song
Ireland women's team apologise for singing song referencing Irish Republican Army
Sky Sports News

A Sky Sports News presenter has faced criticism after asking whether members of the Republic of Ireland women’s football team "need educating" after they were filmed singing a pro-IRA song.

Republic of Ireland boss Vera Pauw previously apologised for any offence caused as her jubilant players celebrated reaching the World Cup finals for the first time.

The video circulated on social media after Tuesday night’s 1-0 play-off victory over Scotland at Hampden Park and showed a number of players singing “Up the Ra” to Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony.

Manager Pauw and her employers, the Football Association of Ireland, issued an apology on Wednesday morning.

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Pauw said: “We apologise from the bottom of our hearts to anyone who has been offended by the content of the post-match celebrations after we had just qualified for the World Cup.

“We will review this with the players and remind them of their responsibilities in this regard. I have spoken with players this morning and we are sorry collectively for any hurt caused, there can be no excuse for that.”

Ireland player Chloe Mustaki then spoke to Sky Sports News’ Rob Wotton during an interview which has been criticised by viewers.

When asked if the players wanted to apologise, Mustaki replied: "Yeah, absolutely, look, we're all really sorry here in Dublin.

"It was obviously a massive lapse in judgement on our end, you know, lots going on when the final whistle went and we absolutely didn't mean to cause any hurt on our end so we do really apologise for that, absolutely."

Ireland beat Scotland to secure their place at the World CupIan MacNicol/Getty Images

Wotton then came in for criticism and was accused of being patronising by asking: "Does it highlight the need for education on issues like this? Is that something you'd be for?"

"I don't really think so. I think we need to learn in these moments to be better and to do better,” Mustaki replied. "You know, we've all been brought up knowing a lot about Irish history.

"So, we just need to be better in moments like this, and we recognise that absolutely on our end."

The line of questioning was criticised on social media.

One wrote: "Think we can all agree that the singing was ill-judged but the absolute irony overload here of a British person implying that an Irish person needs to be educated on Anglo-Irish history when their whole education system ignores it."

Irish journalist Barry Glendenning wrote: “Is it OK to be equally appalled by the women's post-match choice of ditty *and* Rob's incredibly condescending line of questioning/shaming?”

"An English man asking an Irish woman if she needs to be educated on Irish history has to be one of the most ironic things of all time,” another added.

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