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Football Quotes - Football Association of Ireland
The Football Association of Ireland has a enjoyed a chequered life since it was formed in 1922 following the split in Irish football. Heavily involved in strange goings-on, controversies and cock-ups the FAI has generated myriad quotations from every corner of the Irish football community. Here is a selection of choice quotes about the FAI down through the years by players, managers, FAI officials and other third party quotations.
Quotations about the FAI
"The shirt we used to play in was more like a rugby jersey. As for the shorts, I don't know who they ever thought played for Ireland. They would put Johnny Giles and Joe Haverty into size 44 shorts. In the dressing room sometimes they'd pull the shorts over their heads. Occasionally you'd see Giles with a rolled up pair of shorts and it tucked in like a great, baggy thing. Joe Haverty was a tiny little man and it was the funniest thing to see Joe in an Irish strip" Former Irish international Noel Cantwell. Not the first or last Corkman to have a go at the FAI.
"By the way, any chance of a ticket?" Irish manager Eoin Hand at the time after wishing English manager Ron Greenwood good luck in the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain. The FAI hadn't secured accreditation for Hand for the finals.
"It wasn't the manager's fault. It wasn't the hotel's fault. It was the fault of someone in a five star hotel 200 miles away" Former Irish international and BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson speaking about poor conditions on an away trip to Poland in 1981.
"No sooner had players been nominated for the green jersey than an epidemic of injuries broke out or clubs flatly refused to release those chosen." Former Irish international Noel Dunne
"Although I was picked for a lot of games I only played in half of them. Often I had injuries but on other occasions Manchester United, through Matt Busby, influenced me not to play, and saw to it that I didn't lose out on the match fee" Former Irish international fullback Tony Dunne
"They are running it like a Mickey Mouse club. They can have the others but they can't have you." Former Manchester United manager Matt Busby after Tony Dunne returned with an injury following an Irish match
"In general there is not a culture of discipline in the management of the FAI, with the most basic management disciplines non-existent." From the Genesis Report, commissioned after the infamous Saipan affair
"Irish football story goes back seventy years and it's a thread that incompetence and stupid administration has robbed Irish football. There is a poverty of aspiration and poverty of expectation. I want a bleeding revolution" Journalist and former international Eamon Dunphy
"The honour of playing for your country if you are a professional footballer is directly related to the honour that's inherent in the organisation" Journalist and Football pundit Eamon Dunphy
"Certain allegations have been made about me and I know who the alligators are." A quotation allegedly made by a former FAI Secretary General
"I'll get you on the Irish team if you sign for Drums." Sam Prole, Chairman of the FAI and owner of Drumcondra FC
"I would say that England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland are the only countries in which the international teams are chosen by men lacking any obvious footballing background" English international Tom Finney in the 1950's
"RTE are monopolists" FAI Chief Executive Brendan Menton in 2002
"It's a funny old organisation." FAI Chief Executive Brendan Menton on the FAI
"Joe Wickham used to phone you or you got a letter to say you were selected. The itinerary would tell you to bring your own soap, your own towel, your own everything." Former Irish international Noel Cantwell
"We used to turn up in the Gresham Hotel at 12 on Sunday not knowing who would arrive over from England. League of Ireland players would then be called in if there were any vacancies." Former Irish International Paddy Coad
"I'm sure that Ireland and Germany will get on like a house on fire." Un-named FAI official after an Germany/Ireland match in bombed and battered Hamburg just a few years after WW II
"I voted for Eoin Hand because I think Paddy Mulligan was the one who threw a bun at me on one of my foreign trips." Unnamed FAI Official on how he voted in the election of the Irish manager when Hand beat Mulligan 9-7
"What do you mean it wasn't a good trip? Not at all. The hotels were excellent, the food was great. There was nothing disastrous about the tour" Another unnamed FAI official following a three match tour in which Ireland lost three matches on an aggregate score of 10-1. The tour included a loss to the mighty Trinidad& Tobago and Ireland's worst ever defeat, a 7-0 drubbing by Brazil
"The couldn't afford the flights in those days and so we'd go on the boat on the Saturday night after playing for our clubs and if the crossing was bad we wouldn't get much sleep. Then we'd check into the Four courts Hotel, which was where we stayed. We had three or fours hours sleep and then we'd go down with our boots and everything else to the Gresham Hotel and assemble there at 12 o'clock." Former Irish international Noel Cantwell
"We started out in international football fifty years ago. But I would say that without a doubt we have not made the slightest progress in that time, on or off the field." Former Finn Harps manager at the FAI's 50th anniversary celebrations
"The train was overbooked and the players ended up in the luggage compartment for three hours while the officials were in the regular compartment." Former Irish international Joe Kinnear in 1970 speaking about a train journey from Poland to Germany.
"We were always in Poland and we couldn't figure out why we were always in Poland. But one of the committee member's friends had a business in Poland. So I have more Polish caps than any other kind. Czechoslovakia was another favourite team for us. We were always behind the iron curtain. We became the local team after a few years we were over there so often." Former Irish international goal keeper, Alan Kelly Snr.
"You'd get some real potato pickers coming out to play. A selector with a bit of clout would want to pick some of his boys. You have a League of Ireland player capped and right away he's worth a few thousand quid." Former Irish international Charlie Hurley
"A constantly exploding clown's car." I Keano co-writer Michael Nugent's description of the FAI