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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 21 March, 2019
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FAI announce Declan Rice as winner of 2018 Young Player of the Year award

The Association have said he won’t be in Dublin on Sunday to collect the award.

Rice lined out for Ireland's senior team three times last year.
Rice lined out for Ireland's senior team three times last year.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated at 19.54

AHEAD OF SUNDAY’S International awards ceremny, the FAI have announced that the Young Player of the Year award has been won by Declan Rice. 

Rice played in three of Ireland’s nine games last year, and hence was voted as the winner of the award by a panel comprised of members of the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland. The decision was made before it was publicly confirmed that Rice had decided to switch his international allegiances to England. 

In a statement, the FAI confirmed Rice was the winner of the award and confirmed he won’t be in Dublin to collect his award at Sunday’s ceremony. The FAI have not said they will pull the award, merely that Rice won’t be around to collect it. 

“The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that West Ham United’s Declan Rice has won the Young Player Of the Year award at the 29th ’3′ FAI International Awards taking place on Sunday, March 17.

“The award was voted for by members of the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland.

At the time of the vote, Declan Rice was an Ireland international and qualified for the Young Player category in a year that saw him win three senior caps, all in ’3′ International Friendly games.

“Declan Rice has since opted to switch his allegiance to England. The FAI has completed his international transfer via the FIFA protocols and wishes him well in the future.

“This award maintains the integrity of the voting process in conjunction with the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland and the FAI thanks the jury members for their decisions relating to the awards.

“Declan Rice will not be in Dublin for the ’3′ FAI International Awards ceremony, which will be live on RTÉ2 from 20:30.”

Meanwhile, this evening, a tweet from the official SWAI account added: “The SWAI officers endorse the stance taken by the jury of our members requested to select the FAI’s Young Player of the Year in January. Match performances in 2018 was the sole criteria and they decided at that meeting to stick with the decision regardless of future developments.”

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Gavin Cooney

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