Declan Rice apologises for IRA tweets
West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has apologised after tweets seemingly in support of the IRA resurfaced.
In tweets from 2015, Rice wrote: “Up the Ra.”
Ra is a term for the IRA.
Rice, who switched his international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland, is expected to make his England debut in tomorrow’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic.
But he has now had to take time out of the build-up to the game to apologise for the tweets.
In a statement, he said: “I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media. I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team-mates at the time could be negatively interpreted. While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”
The original tweets were posted when Rice was aged 16. You can see one example of his comments below.
Rice won three caps for Ireland in friendlies, having previously represented them at youth level, before opting to switch to play for England.
He was born in Kingston upon Thames, but qualified to represent the Boys In Green through his paternal grandparents, who hailed from Cork.