A couple of points to follow up on the article I wrote last month concerning the pressure the Football Association and the police were placing on football supporters ahead of the Republic of Ireland versus England friendly.
Firstly Larry O'Hara did consequently place online his 1997 article on the 1995 Dublin 'riot', which originally appeared in the Anarchist magazine Animal. Read it on the Notes from the Borderland website here.
Secondly I did think it good manners to ask Piara Powar if he wanted to reply, as my article was critical of his stance towards England fans in his role for Football Against Racism in Europe and FIFA's task force against racism and discrimination. Piara did not reply to my tweet to him. Whether he attended the match as a representative of FIFA is unclear, not least because on 27 May a series of dawn raids were carried out on FIFA executives as part of the corruption probe led by the FBI. Getting an expenses chit signed in those circumstances may have been challenging.
Thirdly the match itself was characterised by some unusual coverage by ITV, with little or nothing in the way of sound coming across from the English contingent in the stadium. Whilst broadcasters are now dab hands at ensuring fans indecent singing is not overheard by delicate viewers, on this occasion there seemed very little chance to hear anything from the raucous away support. Clearly no chances were being taken that the odd song against the IRA may slip through. Sadly it meant we also missed an excellent song alleging that Sepp Blatter had corruptly paid the Irish FA for the re-building of the Arriva Stadium!
Finally, as anyone who watched the game will know, there was nothing to report. I spent most of it reading the Sunday Times. Still, at least the FA ended up happy.