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'McClean's poppy decision his own personal choice' - Sunderland

The Ireland winger opted not to wear the commemorative badge at Goodison Park yesterday.

McClean is tackled by Irish team-mate Seamus Coleman.
McClean is tackled by Irish team-mate Seamus Coleman.

JAMES MCCLEAN’S DECISION not to wear a remembrance poppy to commemorate Great Britain’s war dead was a personal choice, Sunderland explained on Sunday.

The Derry-born Ireland international played in his side’s 2-1 loss at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday but elected not to wear a shirt with a poppy motif, as his team-mates did.

McClean’s decision sparked heated debate on Twitter – some users criticising him, while others supported his right to choose – and Sunderland revealed that the decision was made solely by the player.

As a club, SAFC wholeheartedly supports the Remembrance commemorations,” read a club statement. “It was James’ personal choice not to wear a shirt (with a poppy) on this occasion.”

McClean, 23, found himself the target of abuse from fans when he decided to play for the Republic Ireland, rather than Northern Ireland.

He was also forced to apologise in September after taking to Twitter to criticise Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni for leaving him on the bench during a 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory in Kazakhstan.

McClean has been named in Trapattoni’s squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Greece in Dublin.

- © AFP, 2012

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