Conor McMenamin: IFA still reviewing social media video after forward reinstated to squad

Conor McMenamin: IFA still reviewing social media video after forward reinstated to squad
Conor McMenamin: IFA still reviewing social media video after forward reinstated to squad

Conor McMenamin has been reinstated to the Northern Ireland squad and has travelled with the team to Greece – but it is not yet clear if he can play in Tuesday night’s Nations League match.

The Glentoran forward was withdrawn from the panel hours before Saturday’s home win over Kosovo for what the Irish FA (IFA) said was “in light of a historic social media video”.

However, it is understood the IFA’s disciplinary committee is currently trying to establish if the player has broken IFA rules with the video.

It is likely that he has not, given that it is believed the video is from seven years ago, but that is yet to be confirmed.

  • Lafferty withdrawn from NI squad amid alleged sectarian remark investigation

The fact that McMenamin, who made his senior international debut in June, is likely to not have breached IFA regulations and could be available to play is why he has travelled with the squad to Athens.

McMenamin had been the second player to be withdrawn from the squad in two days after Kilmarnock striker Kyle Lafferty was removed on Friday amid an investigation by his club into an alleged sectarian remark.

Kilmarnock said on Thursday they were aware of footage “which appears to show a member of our playing staff using language of a sectarian nature”, with the IFA saying on Friday that a “minor back problem” had also prevented Lafferty training during week and contributed to his withdrawal.

Northern Ireland went on to beat Kosovo 2-1 on Saturday at Windsor Park thanks to two late goals, with manager Ian Baraclough saying after the win that the withdrawals of the players had made preparations tough, but that the players had rallied well.

Baraclough’s side arrived in Athens on Sunday ahead of their final Nations League group C2 against Greece on Tuesday evening.

Northern Ireland are currently third in the table but will have to match or better the Cyprus’ result against Kosovo to ensure they remain in the third tier and avoid a relegation play-off.

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