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Disputed Internationals

Sometimes there is disagreement between sources as to what constitutes a "Full International". The following are matches which are excluded by some sources but (in a reverse of original policy) are included by NIFG...

09-08-1902 Scotland.... (h) L 0-3
22-05-1922 Norway...... (a) L 1-2
24-09-1924 South Africa (h) L 1-2
21-02-1928 France...... (a) L 0-4

(Information supplied by Marshall Gillespie based on the research of George Glass)
1. F.I.F.A. regulations state that a match, organised according to the prescribed rules by two National Football Associations and considered as a full international by all participating players, officials, spectators and media representatives shall be deemed a full international. No National Football Association has the right to liquidate such a Full International (category “A”).
2. European teams up to the mid-twenties were still exclusively composed of amateurs. F.I.F.A. in order to recognise the “A” status of the Continental teams, decided that matches between a continental “A” team and a British Amateur team would constitute a Full International. In this respect 47 England Amateur matches between 1906 and 1924 were recognised by F.I.F.A. as Full Internationals.
For the purposes of the IFFHS Books on Full Internationals the list of England “A” and England Amateurs are separated. While for F.I.F.A. World Records both categories are combined.
3. If an opponent consciously selects an official B-team the game cannot be validated as a full international by both sides. Games of a national team against a F.I.F.A. or continental selection cannot be validated as a full international since the game is not played between selections from two separate national members.
4. When the above criteria was adopted for Ireland 1882 -1940, 157 Full Internationals against England, Scotland and Wales were listed. Other possible matches were :-
09/08/1902 Ireland vs Scotland Ibrox Disaster Fund
25/05/1922 Norway vs Ireland
24/09/1924 Ireland vs South Africa
21/02/1928 France vs Ireland

5. Irish matches which cannot be considered as full internationals under paragraph 3. are :-
01/09/1888 Co. Antrim vs Canadian Provincial team
12/09/1891 Ireland vs Canadian Provincial team
23/03/1919 Scotland vs Ireland Victory International
19/04/1919 Ireland vs Scotland Victory International
28/05/1922 Norway Provincial Team vs Ireland

09/08/1902 vs Scotland.
The Scottish Football Association requested the Irish Football Association to host an International Match in June 1902 between the two Countries in aid of the Ibrox Disaster Fund. The I.F.A. suggested that a date in August would be better. The teams were selected by the respective Football Associations and the match was played as a full International. F.I.F.A. have agreed that this match should be included in the Full Internationals of Ireland since 17/09/2000.

9 August 1902 (charity match) - IBROX DISASTER FUND
Referee: James Torrans, Belfast.
Attendance: 3,000 Balmoral Show Grounds*, Belfast

James Vincent Joseph Nolan-Whelan (5/ Freebooters Dublin) --
William Kennedy Gibson (14/ Cliftonville FC Belfast)
William Robert McCracken (3/ Distillery FC Belfast) --
John Darling (7/ Linfield F& AC Belfast)
Robert G. Milne (20/ Linfield F& AC Belfast)
George Cochrane (1/ Distillery FC Belfast) --
John Thompson Mercer (7/ Distillery FC Belfast)
James Wilson McCashin (5/ Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Hugh McKelvey (2/Glentoran FC Belfast)
Bernard Donaghey (1/Belfast Celtic FC Belfast)
Henry Redmond Buckle (1/ Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Captain: William Gibson

0:1 (30) Speedie
0:2 (40) Campbell
0:3 (60) McDermott
Henry George Rennie (Hibernians) –
John Drummond (Glasgow Rangers),
Robert Glen (Hibernians) –
Bernard Breslin (Hibernians),
Albert Thoroughgood Buick (Hearts of Midlothian),
John Tait Robertson (Glasgow Rangers) –
Robert Walker (Hearts of Midlothian),
Thomas McDermott (Glasgow Celtic),
John Campbell (Glasgow Celtic),
Alexander Smith (Glasgow Rangers),
Finlay Speedie (Glasgow Rangers)

25/05/1922 vs Norway.
Telegram received by I.F.A. 07/05/1922
Can you play Federation match with us in Bergen May 25th and Inter Association
match in Christiana May 28th, all expences free or return matches. Please wire
only Football Forbond, Christiana before Tuesday dinner
yours faithfully
P. Chr. Anderson, Secretary
Norwegian Football Association.
Reply :-
Provided arrangements as to passports can be completed in time will send team,
advised this can be done. Finances of Association depleted therefore ask you to
send draft for £800 to cover expenses, balance due either way to be adjusted
afterwards. Wire confirmation or otherwise Wednesday certain.
The I.F.A. selection, supplied in good faith was the strongest possible, allowing for the provision of passports for each player. This team was still recognised by the Irish Football Association as a full A team until the 1990’s, and this match was a reality, with all official preparation work according to the rules, and considered at the time of playing as a full international by all participating players, officials, spectators and media representatives. A copy of the actual match programme confirms this status. As a match between two Association A teams it is a full international as per paragraph 1 above.
It would appear however from the Norwegian Yearbook notes for 1921/22 season, (relevant portion located), that this match and the match in Stavanger against France (lost 7-0) on 11/06/1922 were annulled by F.I.F.A. at the request of Norway as Ireland had played a few professionals in their match and France had also committed discrepancies.
However the Irish Football Association were not aware before the match that the Norwegian F.A. required an Amateur team. It would also appear after careful search of I.F.A. minutes and all newspaper reports after this decision that Ireland were never made aware of this “remarkable” decision by F.I.F.A.
The match was only removed from the I.F.A. list in the 1990’s because it did not appear on the F.I.F.A. list. The reason for this removal as far as I know was a total mystery until now as far as Irish sources were concerned.
The French match vs Norway is still recorded in the list of Full Internationals of France.
Faced with the above information F.I.F.A. will not change their decision, as their regulations in 1921/22 only allowed for Amateurs v Amateurs or Full v Full. However they have intimated that had this match occurred a little later it would not have been annulled by them as it came under the new ruling as per paragraph 1 above.
Like France v Norway this is a Full International according to the present Regulations and should remain as such in the Irish records, even with a footnote that it was annulled by F.I.F.A. under old regulations, repealed a short time later.
25 May 1922 (friendly match)
NORWAY - IRELAND 2:1 (1:0)
Referee: G. H. Thrower, Newcastle.
Attendance: 8,000. Venue: Brann Stadion, Bergen, Norway.

Ireland: (Trainer: Hugh Tanner, Distillery)
Goal: McKenzie
Alfred Ireland Harland (1/Linfield A& FC Belfast) --
Andrew McCluggage (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast)
John Joseph Curran (1/Glenavon FC Lurgan) --
Richard McCracken (1/Linfield F& AC Belfast)
Gerald Francis Morgan (1/Linfield F& AC Belfast)
David Jordan Addis (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast) --
Hamilton McKenzie (1/Distillery FC Belfast)
Thomas Croft (1/ Queen’s Island FC Belfast)
John Patrick Dalrymple (1/Distillery FC Belfast)
William McCleery (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Robert Collins (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Captain: “Dick” McCracken
Goals: B. Johnsen (2).
Arnt Simensen (3/Sarpsborg FK) -
John Johnsen (7/SK Brann Bergen)
Per Skou (35/Ski og FK Lyn Kristiana) -
Ellef Mohn (2/SK Frigg Kristiana)
Alexander Olsen (5/SK Brann Bergen)
Gunnar Anderson (34/Ski og FK Lyn Kristiana) –
Michael Paulsen (16/FK Orn Horten)
Bjarne Johnsen (1/SK Brann Bergen)
E. Graff Wang (1/SK Ready Kristiana)
Einar Wilhelms (6/Fredrikstad FK)
Herbert Lunde (1/SK Brann Bergen
Captain : Gunnar Anderson (25)

With thanks to Richard Beal for clarifying the goalscorers in this match.

24/09/1924 v South Africa.
This match has been considered for a long time as a match between an Ireland Amateur team and the South African team of amateur players and thus ranked as an Amateur International. However it was originally advertised as Ireland v South Africa. The Irish team played in the full International colours of blue (not green like the amateurs) and the players were allowed to keep their jerseys. According to the I.F.A. International Committee Minutes the team, due to travelling costs, was selected solely from players based in the Irish League. Most of the players were professional and so must be recognised as a Full International.
It has been recognised by F.I.F.A. as a Full International since 30/02/2001 and as South Africa's first Full International.
24 September 1924 (friendly match)
Referee: William Cowan, Belfast
Attendance: 6,000, Solitude, Belfast

Ireland: (Trainer : Joe Devlin, Belfast Celtic)
1:0 (10) Rushe
John Gough (1/Queen’s Island FC Belfast) --
Alfred Bruce (1/Belfast Celtic FC)
Thomas Frame (1/Linfield FC Belfast) --
James Anderson (1/Distillery FC Belfast)
William Burns (1/Glentoran FC Belfast)
John Harris (2/Glenavon FC Lurgan) --
Thomas McKeague (1/Glentoran FC Belfast)
Thomas Croft (1/Queen’s Island FC Belfast)
Frank Rushe (1/Distillery FC Belfast)
Ralph Lynas (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Harold Wilson (1/Linfield FC Belfast)
Captain: John Harris (2)

South Africa:
1:1 (44) Murray
1:2 (75) Green
South Africa : (Trainer : Hugh Sweetlove)
Arthur J. Riley (1/Transvaal) -
C. R. Thompson (1/Transvaal)
G. W. Burton (1/Natal) -
G. R. Parry (1/Western Province)
H. C. Williams (1/Western Province)
B. P. Tuohy (1/Natal) –
P. D. Jacobi (1/Frontier)
J. Green (1/Transvaal)
David james Murray (1/Western Province)
Gordon Hodgen (1/Transvaal)
E. S. G. Stuart (1/Western Province)
Captain : H. C. Williams (1)

21/02/1928 vs France.
This match was played in Paris on a Tuesday. The Irish Football Association made a conscious decision to select a team of amateurs and professionals. This is the only occasion in the minutes of the I.F.A. International Committee studied up to 1940 that a special reference was made to selecting amateurs and professionals. The professionals in this match were to be paid £2-2-0 each. The team was referred to as an international team as opposed to an amateur or junior international team.
This team cannot be accepted as an Amateur team as per paragraph 2. Scrutiny of the team itself and the unique reference to a team of amateurs and professionals would indicate that as “B” team status did not exist at this time this match can only be considered as a full International team. Incidentally the match is shown in some record books as a Republic of Ireland team.
F.I.F.A. recognise it as a full International.
21 February 1928 (friendly match)
FRANCE - IRELAND 4:0 (3:0)
Referee: Paul Ruoff (Switzerland)
Attendance: 27,000, Buffalo, Paris

Ireland: (Trainer: Hugh Tanner, Distillery)
Edward McCracken (1/Barking Town FC) --
Robert Thompson (1/Linfield F & AC Belfast)
Robert Patrick Fulton (1/Larne FC) --
William Pollock (1/Belfast Celtic FC)
George Moorhead (1/Linfield F& AC Belfast)
James McGuire (1/Linfield F& AC Belfast) --
Hugh Blair (1/Portadown FC)
James Ferris (1/Belfast Celtic FC)
Samuel Curran (1/Belfast Celtic FC)
John Doherty (1/Portadown FC)
John Harold McCaw (1/Linfield F& AC Belfast)
Captain: Robert Patrick Fulton

Goals: Ouvray, Nicolas 3
Alexis Thepot (FEC Levallois) -
Urbain Wallet (Amiens AC)
Marcel Domerque (Red Star Olympique) -
Jacques Wild (Stade Francais)
Alexandre Villaplane (SC Nimes)
R Dauphin ( ) -
Georges Ouvray (CA Paris)
Guillaume Lieb (FC Mulhouse)
Paul Nicholas (Red Star Olympique)
Pierre Seyler (AS Strasbourg)
Victor Farvaques (US Tourquennoise)
Captain : Paul Nicolas

Record of Ireland/ Amateurs (08.02.1921 - 24.09.1928)
8 February 1921 (Friendly match)
Referee: Raphael Van Praag (Belgium)
Attendance: 20,000, Parc des Princes, Paris.

0:1 (35) Chambers
0:2 (38) Steele
Ireland/Amateurs: (Trainer: C. Harris, Bohemians)
Nathaniel Adams (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast) --
John O McCarthy (1/Bohemians FC Dublin)
Robert Mills (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast) --
John Harris (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Francis Heaney (1/St. James’ Gate FC Dublin)
Harold Risk (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast) --
Samuel Jackson (1/Cliftonville FC Belfast)
Alexander Steele (1/Glenavon FC Lurgan)
James Chambers (1/ Distillery FC Belfast)
Patrick O’Flaherty (1/Dublin United FC)
John Carey (1/St. James’ Gate FC Dublin)
Captain: John Harris (1)


Anonymous said…
Scotland Match no caps awarded as match was for Charity.
South Africa Match
France Match
All matches now listed by FIFA their "A" list per I.F.F.H.S. supplied information.
Norway match expunged by FIFA on Like v Like rule, which only existed for another year, otherwise full International teams could not have played Amatuer Countries in a full "A" match. FIFA have agreed that had the match been played a year or so later it would have fulfilled the new Criteria. A similar French match remains in their records as this match should with a footnote.

jcd said…
Thanks for your input.

At this point I will not be adapting my outlook on these matches. I may in the future though if I ever get this project finished!
Anonymous said…
This is a very interesting article, however, it is slightly tarnished by the word 'amateur' being misspelt as 'amatuer' throughout.
jcd said…
Poor editing on my part, fixed now!