Electronic Arts has today apologised for a culturally sensitive blunder in UEFA Euro 2008 – in which the Northern Ireland football team stand to The Soldier's Song, traditionally sung at United Ireland sporting events.
in Northern Ireland reports that fans reacted with ‘surprise' to hear the anthem represent their national team in the game.
One fan posted a shocked comment on an internet football forum to simply say, "So Northern Ireland has no identity now I suppose."
EA spokesperson Shaun White apologised for the error. He stated:
"At EA Sports, we pride ourselves on delivering rich and authentic videogame experiences. We sincerely apologise for this 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."
The official Northern Ireland national anthem is God Save Our Queen.