Sky Sports presenter Rob Wotton has been slammed for making the Ireland women’s team apologise for singing an IRA song in the dressing room.
He has been heavily criticised for suggesting that the Republic of Ireland team “need educating” after a video emerged of members of their side singing a pro-IRA song when celebrating their World Cup qualification.
The team sealed their place at the finals in Australia and New Zealand next year with to a 1-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.
But the celebrations were dampened after a video, widely circulated on social media, emerged of a number of the players singing ‘Up the Ra’ as part of the Wolfe Tones song Celtic Symphony in their dressing room.
THE Republic of Ireland’s women’s team in their Hampden dressing room room last night singing IRA songs. Clearly they support Irish terrorists.
Any condemnation from the SNP yet?
Are the police going to investigate? pic.twitter.com/hvQWD1z2EC
— AGP🏴🇬🇧 (@AgentP22) October 12, 2022
The FAI, their manager Vera Pauw and a number of their players have since apologised for the incident, one of which in an interview with Sky Sports News.
Dutch woman Pauw, who has said she was unaware of the song and its significance, said: “We were made aware of a clip that has gone viral, out of the dressing-room.
“From the bottom of our heart, we are so sorry because there is no excuse for hurting people. It was unnecessary.”
While the team have been quick to hold their hands up, the line of questioning taken by Sky Sports News presenter Rob Wotton towards Chloe Mustaki has been criticised by viewers.
Wotton first asked Mustaki if she wanted to apologise for the players singing the song.
The Ireland women’s team apologise for singing a song referencing the IRA following their world cup qualification win against Scotland last night. pic.twitter.com/83flVC8ywp
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 12, 2022
“Yeah, absolutely, look, we’re all really sorry here in Dublin,” said Mustaki.
“It was obviously a massive lapse in judgement on our end, you know, lots going on when the final whistle went and we absolutely didn’t mean to cause any hurt on our end so we do really apologise for that, absolutely.”
Viewers were angered when Wotton went to ask: “Does it highlight the need for education on issues like this? Is that something you’d be for?”
Mustaki replied: “I don’t really think so. I think we need to learn in these moments to be better and to do better.
“You know, we’ve all been brought up knowing a lot about Irish history.
“So, we just need to be better in moments like this, and we recognise that absolutely on our end.”
The Irish Mirror said on this: “Perhaps the irony is more powerful for the fact that Wotton has previously been found wanting when it comes to the sovereign status of the Republic of Ireland.”
In an interview he had with ex-Munster and Ireland rugby star Brian Carney in 2019, Wotton introduced him as being a former star for the Great Britain Lions.
Carney, who was talking about the return of the Lions tour, quickly corrected him.
He said: “Can we start with a geography lesson and a sovereignty lesson as well, please? It’s Great Britain and Ireland.
“Unless they’ve changed it and haven’t given me the memo.
“I saw a quote included from the Irish Rugby League chairman yesterday welcoming the return of Great Britain and Ireland.
“He was the only person in the whole of the press release to reference the fact that an independent country, Ireland, is also part of this makeup and unless that’s changed I’m going to go with Great Britain and Ireland.”
As mentioned, the Sky Sports presenter was slammed online for making the Ireland women’s team apologise for singing an IRA song…
@TomC2312_AVFC: I think an English presenter asking an Irish footballer if education is needed is incredibly ironic. When I was studying A level politics, a solid 90% of the class hadn’t even heard of the troubles, let alone any details. A level politics!!! Was absolutely mind blowing 🤯
@rfwalsh86: Why have you turned off replies to this @SkySportsNews? Are you afraid someone might point out the utter hypocrisy of the annual poppy fest which offends a hell of a lot more people around the globe? If one is wrong so is the other 🤷♂️
@leedsmark73: The cheek of this condescending so called presenter chasing an apology from a Irish football team for celebrating their own history of struggle from British colonialism. Joke @RobCWotton your the one needing educating prior to next month’s poppy wearing time
@italianirish81: This is absolutely cringeworthy, an Irishwoman made to apologise on liveTV to an Englishman for singing an Irish rebel song. No one should ever have to apologise for their nation’s valid resistance against a foreign power. It should be him doing the apologising.
@bencsmoke: an english journalist asking an irish woman whether the irish football team needs to be educated on the history of ireland is, beyond anything else, just very very funny. not a hint of self awareness!
@adriang86518036: I just think it’s mad he’s talking about education of people singing rebel songs. Yet we will see the jingoism of British militarism and imperialism displayed in about a months time. We will see the death threats sent to James McClean for refusing to remember British troops…
@SUladh: “Coming up next, we will be talking to the football fans who racially abuse James McClean year in year out because they’re ignorant of their army’s bloodsoaked, murderous history in Ireland, and the club managers and football pundits who ignored it and refused to call it out”
@WelshFanZoneTV: This is the most patronising video I have ever watched. An English person asking an Irish person if they need to be educated on history 🤦🏻♂️ get a grip @SkySportsNews
@its_gar_owed: Educate yourself @RobCWotton. The snide arrogance here is astounding. We are educated in Ireland about the shit your country did, it’s your lot that aren’t. I would 100% be for education, but not on our end
@AaronBastani: Very strange that Ireland team is apologising for this. It’s well known that men’s team sing ‘rebel songs’ and it’s never caused a stir. English journalists saying Irish athletes can’t celebrate independence struggle of early 20th C is really inappropriate. Don’t they get it?
@SeanIRL91: The fucking irony for a Brit to suggest education on the subject. Shouldn’t have apologised and the girls should have been protected better by the FAI. Our national anthem is literally about how we’re all soldiers fighting for freedom, someone get James McClean involved please 🇮🇪
@andrewflood: Guarantee this dose will be wearing a poppy on air in a few weeks (if not a few days). I’m not a fan of bar stool republicanism but it’s way better than the enforced celebration of empire. He should have been told to feck off
@BhoyinRed: “Does it highlight the need for an education on issues like this.” Haha actually wit??!! A Brit implying to an Irish woman she needs to learn more about her country’s history because it doesn’t suit his propaganda installed understanding of his own 🥴
@ScouseCommie: Something deeply weird about an Irish woman being forced to apologise by an Englishman for singing about the people who got her country independence, isn’t there?
@lucfitz_: The Brits saying Irish people need to be educated on the Troubles would you fuck off hahaha
@Fogie_offical: This is actually hilarious, she couldn’t give a flying fuck, none of them can, all just to keep Sky happy, Sing it proudly oh ah up the Ra
@Gavin_F_Brewis: Something extremely ridiculous about an Irish woman needing to apologise to an English man about why she sung a song celebrating the IRA. No matter how you spin it, without the IRA, Ireland wouldn’t even have been its own independent country.
@Murchu95: The only person with a need for education is this smug prick. The condescending question of do Irish people need to
@TadhgHickey: Yet again, there’s really nothing like a bit of old fashioned British condescension and hypocrisy to unite the Irish.
@JimMonaghan10: Sky presenter asking if this highlights the need for education? Yes, it highlights the need for British people to realise that Ireland were involved in an actual war against an oppressive foreign occupation not that long ago.
@IrishPropaganda: This is an awful interview and Sky Sports News should be ashamed of themselves. For an Englishman to ask an Irishwomen does she need education on the history of Ireland is shameful. Without the English there would be millions more Irish people today
— Padraig Ó 🇵🇸 🇮🇪 (@murini91) October 12, 2022