Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Tuesday, June 1, 1999 Published at 18:28 GMT 19:28 UK

World: Europe

Opposition grows to Yugoslavia match

If the game does get the go-ahead it won't be shown in Serbia

European ministers and politicians from the Republic of Ireland are seeking a solution to Saturday's controversial football international between Ireland and Yugoslavia in Dublin.

Ireland's Sports Minister, Jim McDaid, is meeting his European colleagues on Tuesday evening to discuss the game.

European football's governing body Uefa says the European Championship qualifying match must go on.

But there is growing pressure from ministers, the Irish Football Association (FAI) and fans for the game to be called off.

Difficult issue

Foreign ministers of the European Union have already expressed their disquiet, and now the sports ministers have called in football's top officials in a bid to solve a difficult issue.

They will meet the president of Uefa, Lennart Johanssen, and the head of the world's governing body, Fifa, Sepp Blatter.

Uefa and Fifa usually follow the lead of the United Nations when it comes to banning members.

But with no UN action against Yugoslavia, the authorities have no guidelines.

During the Bosnian conflict in 1992, Yugoslavia was banned from the European Championship - ironically their replacements, Denmark, won the tournament - but UN sanctions were then in place.

Opposition is growing

Opposition to the match is growing. The Irish Government is under pressure to refuse visas for the Yugoslav players, and has made it clear there will be no government representation at the match if it goes ahead.

The FAI wants to stop the game, but it risks being expelled if it refuses to field a team.

FAI officials have threatened to withdraw hospitality to the visiting team and will not allow the Yugoslav flag to be raised at the stadium in Dublin.

The Irish Football Supporters Association has urged its members to boycott the game in protest at Serbian atrocities in Kosovo.

Ireland's state-backed RTE television network said coverage of the game would include political opposition to the tie.

The FAI said they would not allow the match to be shown in Serbia.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

31 May 99 | Europe
Dublin to debate Yugoslav soccer match

25 May 99 | Football
Yugoslavia game gets go-ahead

10 May 99 | Football
Dublin Euro 2000 game on

Internet Links

Football Association of Ireland


Government of Yugoslavia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift