Declan Rice apologises for posting IRA slogan on Instagram

England and West Ham midfielder wrote ‘Up the Ra’ on a comment made in 2015

Declan Rice has apologised for comments he made on social media aged 16. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Declan Rice has apologised for comments he made on social media aged 16. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

 

Declan Rice has released a statement apologising for posts he made on Instagram in 2015 in which he writes: “UP THE RA.”

West Ham midfielder Rice is currently with the England senior squad ahead of their fixtures against the Czech Republic and Montenegro this weekend.

The 20-year-old committed his international future to Gareth Southgate’s side in February, despite making three senior appearances in friendlies for the Republic of Ireland.

Rice also represented Ireland at underage level, and has been forced to apologise for comments he made on social media aged 16.

Rice wrote: “#upthera,” on one Instagram post, and “my brudda. UP THE RA. Wait Till We Draw England,” on another.

And on Thursday Rice made a statement via an Instagram story, it read: “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 teammates 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.”

Last week Rice was named the FAI’s Young Player of the Year - despite the midfielder already having declared for the England senior side.

New Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was critical of the decision, he said: “When I was told that he was getting it, I said ‘no way, why would he get it?’

“Give it to someone who would really appreciate it. He’s not going to appreciate it; he probably feels slightly embarrassed by it.”

Ireland begind their Euro 2020 qualification campaign away to Gibraltar on Saturday, before the visit of Georgia to Dublin next Tuesday.