To honour our football-loving first citizen, the FAI have announced details of the President’s Cup which will see the League of Ireland champions play the FAI Cup winners a week before the season kick-off
St. Patrick’s Athletic will host Sligo Rovers at Richmond Park on March 2 in the inaugural fixture.
Michael D. Higgins is no stranger to the beautiful game. He’s a long-time president of Galway United Football Club and even took time to attend the Tribesmen’s promotion/relegation play-off shortly before his inauguration.
The Irish president is invited to each home international and while his predecessor Mary McAleese was a somewhat irregular visitor, Michael D. has availed of his ticket at every opportunity.
“President Higgins support for the Airtricity League and Irish soccer is deeply appreciated and the introduction of the President’s Cup will provide us with an exciting game between the league champions and cup winners to start each new season,” said Eamon Naughton, chairman of the National League Executive Committee.
During Euro 2012, the popular President was out and about mingling with Irish fans in Poland and showed his passion for the Boys in Green when celebrating Sean St Ledger’s goal against Croatia.
During the election, when asked if he thought he was too old to assume office, the 72-year-old pointed out that he was younger than Giovanni Trapattoni.
The President has often spoken of his love for the game, saying “Soccer is very important. If you took it out of Irish life, you’d have a great big hole.”