England fans warned against singing anti-IRA songs at Wembley by Roy Hodgson

The Three Lions will be playing Ireland for the first time since 1995

England fans have been warned about singing anti-IRA songs when the Three Lions take on the Republic of Ireland at Wembley next week.

The England manager, Roy Hodgson, says doing so could damage their reputation across the country according to The Evening Standard.

The friendly at Wembley next Wednesday will be the first meeting between the sides since February 1995, when a pre-planned riot by England fans prompted the abandonment of a fixture at Lansdowne Road after just 27 minutes.

The chant of “No Surrender [to the IRA]” has been heard at several England matches this season and the Football Association are mindful of any politically charged singing at a fixture arranged to celebrate the organisation’s 150 anniversary year.

Although Fifa declared the FA had no case to answer over claims of “bonfire” chants by England supporters aimed at Rio and Anton Ferdinand during March’s World Cup qualifier in Montenegro, there is unease at the possibility of another unsavoury incident that could result in a range of possible punishments.

The Metropolitan Police cannot arrest anyone singing “No Surrender” as it is not a criminal offence but Article 3 of the Fifa statues states: “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.”

Sanctions range from a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs (£20,352) to the offending country being forced to play a match behind closed doors.

In a bid to avoid the controversy, every ticket holder will receive an email from Hodgson next Tuesday with the England manager also penning a personal plea in the programme notes for the game.

In those notes, Hodgson says: “As we welcome our Irish neighbours and look to Scotland returning to Wembley in August for the first time in 13 years, it is important for me to talk about respect.

“In my time as England manager the support this team has received at home and abroad has been nothing short of fantastic. I have been taken aback by the sheer scale of passion and commitment our supporters have shown.

“Long before I came into the job I knew that the behaviour and reputation of England fans has developed into something we all should be very proud of. World Cups in South Africa and Germany in the last decade are shining examples of this.

“So I hope everyone who follows England understands that position has been built by many fans over a long period of time and sadly it can be undone very quickly by a minority.

“As much as we all want to win, respect for the game and for our opponents is paramount. Tonight is no different and I strongly urge everyone in the ground to show each other respect and not to chant songs that could be regarded as insulting to others - particularly from a religious or political perspective.

“I hope everyone bears that in mind tonight, and every time we come to support our national team.”

Hodgson’s preparations have been compromised by end of season tours involving players from Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City but despite England’s double header – they play Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday week – coming at the end of a long domestic season, the 65-year-old stressed the importance of the chance to work with his players.

“These fixtures are part of The FA’s 150 anniversary celebrations and some have used the word ‘friendly' to describe these matches,” he said.  “However, in my book there is no such thing - these are crucial preparation matches for the qualification games.

“The players share this attitude with me.  Every time you step out for your country you face competition and expectation: From the supporters who care passionately, from your teammates, from your family and friends and from within yourself. 

“We have one or two younger faces involved this time around and it’s important for me to assess them during this get together. This process is important for the long term future of the national team.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine