While some travelling supporters booed Ireland officials and management in person at in San Marino on Wednesday night, others have taken out their frustration online, editing a Wikipedia entry about the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
The top paragraph on the page was edited the morning after Ireland scraped a last-gasp win in a Euro 2008 qualifier away to San Marino, a tiny state ranked 198th in the world.
Fans clearly blame the FAI for many of the national team’s current woes and have taken it upon themselves to edit the page on the Wikipedia website, with an introduction that – how shall we put this – is less than complimentary about the FAI’s organisational abilities.
The writer employs a variety of Anglo-Saxon phrases to slag off the FAI for perceived failures in handling the Eircom park debacle, the Roy Keane affair, the sacking of previous manager Brian Kerr and the installation of his successor Steve Staunton, a man whose previous managerial experience amounted to some coaching sessions at Walsall.
As a free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia is designed to be community based: that is, anyone can edit or update an entry as they see fit. However, this approach has caused controversy in some quarters as it allows precisely this kind of messing to go unchecked.
Staunton also has a Wikipedia entry about him and this has been updated with a reference to Wednesday night’s result, along with an amendment calling him a “moron”.
By Gordon Smith