Irvine's flag day


EDDIE IRVINE (left) will not be allowed to raise a neutral flag if he finishes on the podium tomorrow. Irvine wants a specially-made neutral flag hoisted because of the sectarian problems that were sparked by his second place in Argentina.

Irvine's parents received threatening telephone calls at their Northern Ireland home after the Republic of Ireland tricolour was raised as he stood on the podium in Buenos Aires. The Dublin-based driver has been told to appeal to motor sport's governing body, the FIA, if he wants a special dispensation.

A spokesman for FIA said yesterday that a mistake had been made in Argentina and the Union Jack should have been raised because Irvine holds a British passport. "There was a mistake from one of the local organisers," said their spokesman Francesco Longanesi. "As far as we understand, Eddie has a British passport so the Union Jack should be raised. If Eddie finishes on the podium here on Sunday then the Union Jack will be displayed and `God Save The Queen' played if he wins."

Irvine wants the non-sectarian `Derry Air' played if he is victorious and has also brought his own flag - white with a shamrock - to Imola.