Cliftonville players keep their heads bowed during God Save the Queen before Irish Cup final against Coleraine
They made a stance.
Cliftonville players refused to acknowledge God Save The Queen ahead of their Irish Cup final defeat to Coleraine on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds went head-to-head with the Bannsiders at Windsor Park in Belfast, with the north Belfast side keeping their heads bowed as the British national anthem rang out over the stadium prior to kick-off. Coleraine ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Darren McCauley, Aaron Burns and Eoin Bradley.
Cliftonville respond to the British National anthem. pic.twitter.com/RFaz8cF9hG
— Robert McMillen (@robert_mcmillen) May 5, 2018
Irish News journalist Brendan Crossan captured footage which appears to show Cliftonville fans cheering on their side's decision.
Reds players keep their heads bowed for anthem pic.twitter.com/rJSiOmiRHR
— Brendan Crossan (@CrossanBrendan) May 5, 2018
Earlier this week, the Irish Football Association refused Cliftonville's request to not play God Save The Queen before the match.
"Following a written request from Cliftonville Football Club the Board of the Irish Football Association met tonight (May 3), and considered the playing of the National Anthem at the Irish Cup final," an IFA statement read.
"The members expressed sympathy for Cliftonville's position, but decided that the current board policy, agreed in August 2013, should stand. Therefore, the National Anthem will be played before the match.
"The board also committed to conducting a future stakeholder review of the issue."
Cliftonville issued a short statement in response, which read: "Cliftonville Football Club note tonight's Irish Football Association statement following the decision of the majority of the IFA Board in regards to the playing of an anthem at this year's Irish Cup Final.
"We will be making no further comment until after the Final."
The IFA dropped God Save The Queen in 2013 when Cliftonville met Glentoran in the final in order to create a “politically neutral environment”.
Cliftonville last lifted the Irish Cup in 1979 while Coleraine's win was their first since 2003.
What the IFA said in 2013 re: The Irish Cup decider between Cliftonville and Glentoran. In the interests of fostering a "politically neutral environment" God Save the Queen would not be played.
Question: What happened to fostering a "politically neutral environment" in 2018?
— Brendan Crossan (@CrossanBrendan) May 3, 2018