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The Dowie

UEFA considering international leagues

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If we don't qualify for the world cup, we should aim to lose every game 47-0 and get in group D of the euros league thing - win that and we go to the euros!

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I don't know. Our results against the minnows would tend to suggest we wouldn't win League D

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I don't know. Our results against the minnows would tend to suggest we wouldn't win League D

That is true

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We're in Pot 1 of League C at present according to this guy: Football Rankings

 

Still in the same place.

 

http://www.football-rankings.info/2016/09/uefa-nations-league-update-9-september.html

 

Look at that fourth group (from Azer down). It's nuts that one of them will qualify.

 

Also, if you were Cyprus or Belarus, chucking a game or two might be adviseable. What? My bad?

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If, for the sake of argument, those positions were to remain unchanged by the time of the draw, can someone please confirm for me that we would NOT end up in a 4 team mini-League to play Albania, Denmark and Scotland (i.e. the four teams in League C, Pot 1)?

 

Rather we would be drawn EITHER in a three team mini-League along with one team each from League C, Pots 2 and 3 - eg NI, Bulgaria and Israel;

 

OR we would be in one of two four team mini-Leagues, along with one team each from League C, Pots 2, 3 and 4 - eg NI, Slovenia, Montenegro and Belarus.

 

I am really hoping it is not the first format, since if we were to have a good WC2018 Qualifying campaign ( :thumbsup: ), we could end up in League B ( :thumbsup: ), but in the same Pot as ROI ( :thumbdown: ).

 

And whatever else, I really don't want that.

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If, for the sake of argument, those positions were to remain unchanged by the time of the draw, can someone please confirm for me that we would NOT end up in a 4 team mini-League to play Albania, Denmark and Scotland (i.e. the four teams in League C, Pot 1)?

 

Rather we would be drawn EITHER in a three team mini-League along with one team each from League C, Pots 2 and 3 - eg NI, Bulgaria and Israel;

 

OR we would be in one of two four team mini-Leagues, along with one team each from League C, Pots 2, 3 and 4 - eg NI, Slovenia, Montenegro and Belarus.

 

I am really hoping it is not the first format, since if we were to have a good WC2018 Qualifying campaign ( :thumbsup: ), we could end up in League B ( :thumbsup: ), but in the same Pot as ROI ( :thumbdown: ).

 

And whatever else, I really don't want that.

 

 

Yes of course. If it stays the way it is then NI, Albania, Denmark and Scotland will all be number 1 seeds in a Nations League group. The 4 group winners will then meet in 2 semi finals and a final to decide a Euro2020 place.

 

A 2nd place team may still have a chance to be bumped up to Group B's semi finals assuming most of the 20 places taken are from Groups A & B.

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Yes of course. If it stays the way it is then NI, Albania, Denmark and Scotland will all be number 1 seeds in a Nations League group. The 4 group winners will then meet in 2 semi finals and a final to decide a Euro2020 place.

​Ta Gary.

 

A 2nd place team may still have a chance to be bumped up to Group B's semi finals assuming most of the 20 places taken are from Groups A & B.

Of course - hadn't really thought of that.

 

(Btw, the ROI v NI bit was only due to the potential for trouble etc. All other things being equal, Dublin is a grand city for watching football)

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I'd like to think we could meet without any trouble. There hasn't really been any at any of the games since 1978. Trying to ban away fans would be more more problematic now as the percentage of our support from north of the border has grown exponentially since 1993. Still maybe better that we don't meet for the moment.

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... the percentage of our support from north of the border has grown exponentially since 1993.

Not picking a scrap, but is the implication there that more people started to support the Republic of Ireland because of the (primarily off-field) events of our meeting in November 1993?

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Not picking a scrap, but is the implication there that more people started to support the Republic of Ireland because of the (primarily off-field) events of our meeting in November 1993?

Or because they qualified for USA '94?

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Or because they qualified for USA '94?

 

In my view it was '88 and in particular '90 that got that ball rolling, well before '93. I watched the '93 game v ROI in a Belfast city centre bar (the Empire)...was one of the last home games I missed, due to not being able to get a ticket....me and the other NI fans in attendance were vastly outnumbered. It was a pretty grim eye-opener.

 

Having said that I quite happily lent my support to ROI during the '90 tournament. Astounds me, looking back! :sarcastic:

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Not picking a scrap, but is the implication there that more people started to support the Republic of Ireland because of the (primarily off-field) events of our meeting in November 1993?

 

I don't think it is down to the 1993 game per se. It didn't help though.

 

Not looking for a scrap and not trying to cause offence. I'm very interested in the topic and maybe it is one better discussed in a bar.

 

1) Although not scientific I think it is an undeniable fact that the support for the RoI from NI at games has grown from a small base in the early 1990's to now making up a significant percentage of the support. Indeed I would now consider the regular support from NI home and away to be by some margin bigger proportionally than that in the Republic.

 

2) There are a number of active organised Supporter's Clubs in NI now. Looking from afar probably better run than those outside NI with the exception of an excellent London club.

 

3) There were 3 to 4 Cliftonville lads who travelled to games in the 80's but the first time I noticed any kind of numbers (and this was maybe 30-50) from NI was in Vilnius in June 1993. I recall commenting on the fact that there were guys from Belfast here to support us. I've discussed this with a few other RoI fans including those travelling since the mid 1970's. My first home game was in 1975 and my first away was in 1981.

 

4) The RoI side is now seen by many as a 32 county nationalist team representing the whole island. Football would have been seen as a "partitionist sport" up until the 1990's. It was a common jibe that you never hear now. Back then it seemed very simple. There were 2 national teams on the island. If you were born north of the border you supported NI and south then the RoI.

 

5) It is a sensitive topic for many too. Some of our fans were at games at Windsor in the past but would quickly make sure you understood "they were there to watch Spain and Denmark" and definitely not supporting NI.

 

6) Prior to 1993 I think the vast majority of our support would have wished NI well. I was in school in Limerick in 1982 and in college in Cork in 1986 and everybody seemed to be supporting NI at both World Cups. Now many south of the border still wish NI well but many also hate NI and would probably cheer on England v NI . I think the majority of our fans from NI really hate the NI team. The 93 game coloured opinion south of the border but those north of the border have an influence as well.

 

The reasons can be a bit complicated.

 

I believe the main one is that players from NI now play for the Republic.

 

I think "success" however relative is also a big factor. Although the support really started to grow and be noticed when the team was in relative decline in the late 90's. We missed out in 3 successive playoffs so were threatening to qualify before actually doing so in 2002. . We were probably significantly better than NI at the time (No I don't remember Danny Griffin :tongue2: )

 

There are other factors. Some are hard to explain and certainly hard to explain properly in writing.

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Prior to 1993 I think the vast majority of our support would have wished NI well. I was in school in Limerick in 1982 and in college in Cork in 1986 and everybody seemed to be supporting NI at both World Cups.

.

I was out in Italy during the 1990 World Cup. One morning I went down to breakfast in my hotel, where there were a group of ROI supporters. There were also a couple of NI fans (in their 50's?) and on their way out of the room, they made a point of going over to the ROI fans and wishing them well.

 

I was very struck by this simple act of sportsmanship and resolved to follow their example. As it happens, the next day I was in the ROI end at the Romania game in Bologna, and whilst I can't say I was especially moved by the result, nonetheless I was very pleased for the ROI fans, who were "a great bunch of lads". (Ditto what I experienced out in Euro2016)

 

Since then, however, my views have altered a bit. I still respect ROI fans as individuals, and enjoy their company ( ;) ) But my attitude to the ROI team/FAI has definitely hardened. This is for two reasons. First, some of the sh*t we have had to take after 1993 - and are still taking - is very hard to bear. And more importantly, the poaching/eligibility business has caused real resentment amongst all of the NI support, not just me.

 

So that unless/until the FAI changes this, then I only ever want to see the ROI team get right royally humped every game, every time.

 

Sorry. :(

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Really interesting points Gary. A couple more:

 

1/ A polarising factor from the mid-to-late 90s onwards must be the internet.

 

2/ The profile of the RoI team on UK TV rose hugely in 1988, from short highlights earlier in the 1980s, and nothing at all in the 1970s until the Euro 1980 qualifiers.

 

Regarding Belfast boys turning up to support the RoI in Lithuania 1993 - I remember reading something around that time by one of the regular RoI away support, saying that Lithuania (or Latvia) 1993 was the first time they'd had Northerners turning up and spoiling the atmosphere with 'political' songs and chants. The culprits were told they were not welcome at future away games.

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