EA Apologizes to Northern Ireland for Using Wrong National Anthem in Soccer Game

Electronic Arts has apologized for inserting the wrong song where Northern Ireland’s national anthem should be played in soccer title UEFA Euro 2008.

While Northern Ireland’s proper anthem is God Save the Queen, the game mistakenly plays The Soldier’s Song.

As reported by MCVUK:

A regional newspaper in Northern Ireland reports that fans reacted with ‘surprise’ to hear the anthem represent their national team in the game… EA spokesperson Shaun White apologised for the error…


That apology has been welcomed by NI Sports Minister Gregory Campbell. He said: "Any apology on this matter is most welcome. Obviously there’s has been a lack of knowledge on the makers’ part and hopefully it will be changed as soon as possible."

Via: Joystiq

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  1. Ravenhawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks for clearing those things up for me, Anon and others.

    And I apologize for my posts.. err… naming errors. I shouldn’t try to make posts at 5 am.

  2. Steven deBettencourt says:

    Actually, Scotland doesn’t have an official national anthem, as several are used depending on who’s playing. For example, "Flower of Scotland" is used for soccer matches, while "Scotland the Brave" is used during the Commonwealth Games. "Flower of Scotland" is the most popular choice among the Scottish, but it’s not the official anthem.

    Wales does have an official national anthem, however. It is "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" (Translation: "Land of My Fathers").

    What you said about Northern Ireland is correct.

    Surprisingly, England itself also lacks an official national anthem, so it uses "God Save the Queen" as well. However, "Jerusalem" (used by the English cricket team), "Land of Hope and Glory" (used by the English at the Commonwealth Games) and "I Vow to Thee, My Country" are also popular patriotic English songs.

  3. Anonymous says:

    thanks for the wee update.

    So there was an Irish anthem in there after all, but its was their decision to have GStQ. You learn something everyday.  I’m stopping now – way too much politics for a Saturday. me being scottish [and sociopathic, thanks Jack] and all, I’ve been out all night and haven’t so much had a snooze since I got up yesterday morning . lets just get on with the games, and leave the politics to them that want to try and make money from it.




  4. Anonymous (same guy as the post a little bit higher) says:

    Well the reason for this is that Northern Ireland doesn’t technically have its own official national anthem, while Scotland and Wales do. Because of this, the national anthem of Northern Ireland just defaults as the United Kingdom national anthem.

    Unofficially, different anthems are used as the national anthem at different events. For example, at the Commonwealth Games, Northern Ireland uses Londonderry Air as its national anthem, whereas the Northern Ireland national football team specifically chooses to use God Save the Queen.

  5. not intended as a bait says:


    …so stirring that pot up the political pot again, why does a country that is added on at the end [ie the UK of GB & NI] get God save the queen When Scotland and Wales both get their own? 🙂 Every national sporting event I’ve ever been to it’s been the scottish anthem [Well I am one of Jacks whisky sipping sociopaths after all]

    @ravenhawk – Yes it is the British national anthem, but with the exception of the olympics, there really is no such thing as ‘Team Britain’ in sport. I think it boils down to each country not wanting to share a]their victory and b]the other countries defeats. Like the previous poster said, Great Britain is the name of the land mass – not the country, or the peoples therein – of which there are actually three [recognised] I think 🙂 ..I’m sure the Cornish would declare their own sovereignty in a minute if they had the infrastructure…

    errmm.. but it lets get back to games eh?




  6. Anonymous says:

    Hiya. It’s Northern Ireland, which is a country. Not North Ireland. The problem is, the anthem that was in the game for Northern Ireland was not God Save The Queen, which is the national anthem of Northern Ireland (among other countries), but rather Amhrán na bhFiann (The Soldier’s Song in English), which is the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland.

    The mistake was playing the national anthem of the wrong country. And given the history between the two countries, playing the ROI national anthem instead of the NI national anthem is quite a grave error.

    Also, Northern Ireland is not part of "Britain", it is part of the United Kingdom.

    Great Britain = England + Wales + Scotland (in otherwords, the eastmost of the two islands)

    United Kingdom = England + Wales + Scotland + Northern Ireland (hence "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

    British Isles = the name of the two islands. Great Britain is the island to the east, with Ireland being the island to the west. "Ireland" is also often used as shorthand for the Republic of Ireland the same way "America" is often used as shorthand for the United States of America.

  7. Ravenhawk ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I am curious WHO exactly in north ireland was complaining about the mistake.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but God Save the Queen is the Brits song, is it not? Therefore the mistake made by the guys at EA was treating them as Irish people instead of part of britian, right?

  8. Aliasalpha says:

    Ooh thats a good point! I almost left out kilted claymore weilding redheaded scots psychos and… what’s the welsh stereotype nowdays, people who were in the background of Doctor Who?

  9. Anonymous says:


    @Aliasalpha – I think you’ll find that is an english stereotype, not a british one 🙂


  10. sent them homeward.. to think again. says:


    What it boils down to is that the when it comes to sport – any sport, and rightly or wrongly, the ‘proper’ national anthem is viewed by the three ‘annexed’ Celtic tribes as a song for the english.

    Is that right, Northern Ireland’s anthem is GStQ – that…sucks.

    I can tell you right now, if that [God save the queen] was ever played in error at a football/soccer match as the scottish anthem, there would be a fucking riot.

    Anyways, we’re not talking real life, so no harm done eh? 🙂


  11. Aliasalpha says:

    Yeah but it’s EA, the devs probably started the project in crunch time & the time it took to do more than one google search for "ireland+anthem" would have caused a delay.

    Maybe they need to make "Deeply Offensive Stereotype Football" to show just how bad things can get. I can imagine the australian team uniform being singlet, shorts, thongs & hat with corks, the american could be the traditional redneck, the germans could be dressed as nazis (the goalie can even heil the ball away rather than catch it), the brits could have pinstripe suits, bowler hats, umbrellas & a cup of tea, the irish could be a colourful mishmash of whatever you throw on when drunk, the mexicans could be dressed as a mariachi band & need a nap every few minutes, norwegians could be vikings, new zealanders could be constantly shagging sheep… The possibilities are endless & either deeply offensive or hilarious depending on your sense of humour.

  12. Manuel deBettencourt ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *Sigh* Political Correctness is such a harsh mistress….

  13. Father Time says:

    Isn’t it great that we live in the next gen era where mistakes like this can be solved with patches?

  14. Andy McLaren says:

    What ‘goddam Brits’? You mean the Northern Irish who are happy being part of the UK?

    The Irish are divided in their attitude to the UK its not simple at all.

    Ireland is a complex issue with a lot of history and a lot of suffering but with attitudes like those dispaled by some anonymous  posters no progress will ever be made.

    So grow the fuck up and act civil or kindly bugger off.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’ll bet more than half of comments like this come from folks who have never evenb visited Ireland.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it’s quite the same thing.  What if they had used the ‘Skippy the Bush Kangaroo’ theme?  Now THAT would have made me laugh, but I don’t think many Australians would react the same way.

  17. Steven Jones says:

     Epyx wrongly used ‘Waltzing Matilda’ as Australia’s anthem in its Olympic themed video games for years.  You didn’t hear us complaining.  In fact, I used to laugh about it.

  18. Karsten Aaen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No, the comments section did not suddenly go hostile, but on this, the day of the US Independence, let me remind that the The Irish, too, had their freedom and independence movements. For many years, the brits (or really the English) ruled the Irish. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, while Eire (The republic of Ireland) is its own independent country. Let’s just say there’s bit of history and bad blood on both sides in this case. Thus the Irish and Northern Irish people are very sensitive as to what national anthem are played. I don’t think the US would be too fond of having ‘oh canada’ played ??

  19. Ken ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You mean the Irish gamers were sober long enough to notice the song difference?

  20. CeturionRyan says:

    Hm, just when I thought my little country wouldn’t ever appear in a Gamepolitics article.

    My little country that was built on traitors and Unionist scum.

  21. Jabrwock says:

    Hehe, I wonder if it was a bit of leprechaun tomfoolery.

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  22. Fedule mk II says:

    I feel I should clear this one up a little, and explain why this was a bigger deal than simply playing the wrong song:

    The reason that Northen Ireland and Southern Ireland (AKA the Republic of Ireland) exist in the first place was due to a difference of opinion over being a part of the United Kingdom. Northen Ireland is a part of the UK while the Republic of Ireland is an independant country. Though the political situation this created is nowhere near as volatile now as it was at first (see: the IRA), some people still feel strongly about it. Northen Ireland, as stated, has as it’s national anthem "God Save the Queen", being a part of the UK. "The Soldier’s Song" is the anthem of the Republic of Ireland, so you can see how it might cause a lot of offense.

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