IFA support in banner row

THE Irish FA are behind Glenavon FC in the ‘banner row’.

The club were at loggerheads with supporters after the removal of a banner, which featured two pictures of King William of Orange.

And now the IFA have stated their support of the club, who, the body says, are striving “to position Glenavon FC as the embodiment of a Lurgan moving beyond old dividing lines.”

The Irish Football Association have released the following statement:

“The Irish FA supports Glenavon Football Club’s stance on the removal of an inappropriate banner at the Irish Cup game V Portadown at Mourneview Park on the 14 January 2012. Any club displaying inappropriate, racist, sectarian or homophobic banners leave themselves open to disciplinary action from UEFA or the Irish FA and this could lead to serious sanctions.

“The Irish FA is committed to Football For All, creating a fun, safe and inclusive culture throughout all levels of the game. The Irish FA has Match Observers actively monitoring the atmosphere at Irish Premier League games and works in partnership with Clubs to help create a fun, safe and inclusive culture.

“Glenavon FC has engaged fully with the Irish FA Community Relations Department with regards to fulfilling all compulsory Community Relations requirements of the IFA Domestic Licence and supporting UEFA’s Ten Point Plan. Furthermore Glenavon FC were one of the first Irish Premier League Clubs to have developed their own Community Relations Strategy in 2011 with a key strategic aim being: To position Glenavon FC as the embodiment of a Lurgan moving beyond old dividing lines, welcoming all its citizens as supporters, volunteers and players. (Glenavon Community Relations Strategy, pg 3).

“Glenavon FC have consistently supported the Irish FA’s Football For All Community Relations drive over the last decade and their Community Relations Officer has championed a wide range of community focused, charitable and intercultural initiatives which support Football For All.

“In 2010 Glenavon FC produced a Code of Conduct which aims to help create an ethos of openness and tolerance. The Glenavon Safety Officer and Stewards have fully supported Football For All, helping to encourage a family orientated atmosphere at games, supporting Glenavon’s key strategic aim highlighted above.”