|The Football Association of Ireland is to support football’s social media boycott this weekend by switching off the FAI’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday as an act of solidarity with all those who have been subjected to online abuse.|
The 48-hour blackout is being undertaken in tandem with the actions of FIFA, UEFA and the Football Associations of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Announcing the decision, FAI Chief Executive Jonathan Hill said: “We are taking this stand in support of the boycott originating in England in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players, including our own Irish players playing in English football, and many others connected to football.“
In support of all those Irish players who play their club football in England, some of whom have been the victims of racist and sectarian abuse, we will switch off our FAI Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels from midnight tonight to midnight on Sunday.
“This weekend of protest has been spearheaded by the English FA and we are pleased to support them in their stance as any form of abuse on social media is unacceptable. We will monitor the impact of both this FAI action and the boycott by The FA and English football.”
The FAI is currently actively involved in discussions with social media companies regarding measures to combat abusive social media posts.
The FAI’s Intercultural Programme National Director Des Tomlinson is working on a new strategy on discrimination to go to the FAI Board and is leading the talks with the social media company owners.“
Anything that highlights the need to take action against any form of abuse in football and in society is to be welcomed,” said Des Tomlinson.
“This action, by the FAI and by so many other stakeholders in football across Europe, will send out a very clear message that we cannot and will not tolerate abuse of any form towards anybody involved in our game. We are working with the social media companies on plans to tackle this abuse issue and to protect our players and others involved in football from abuse.” SSE Airtricity Premier Division, First Division and Women’s National League clubs will be free to decide on their own position in relation to this blackout.