Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill dubs fans who sang sectarian song as 'mindless idiots'

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Michael O'Neill says sectarian video not true reflection of Northern Ireland supporters

Michael O'Neill has described Northern Ireland fans who were videoed singing a sectarian song in a Belfast bar as "mindless idiots".

The 20-second video, which circulated on social media, showed people singing "we hate Catholics" to the chorus of Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now".

"There's certainly no place for that," said the Northern Ireland manager.

"That's one or two mindless idiots to be honest and that's not a reflection of 99.9% of the support."

Adding he had been "very disappointed" by the footage which was believed to have been videoed in a Belfast bar on Sunday, O'Neill said: "We had a fantastic game here on Sunday night and a fantastic atmosphere in the stadium.

"We would ask that the supporters would behave themselves away from the stadium as well.

"It's disappointing but it's a tiny minority of people. Whether [it's] the influence of alcohol or not but certainly it was disappointing to see that but not something we need to dwell on.

"As I've said all along, the Northern Ireland team is for everyone," concluded O'Neill, who himself is from a Catholic background.

After news of the video emerged, Killen Rangers FC, a junior football club in Tyrone, later released a statement apologising "to the Catholic community for the obvious offence concerned".

About 20 people are seen in the bar in the video and some of them are clearly seen to be singing sectarian lyrics.

It is not clear if the video was taken before or after a match on Sunday in which Northern Ireland beat Belarus in Belfast.

The Irish FA has said it will work to ensure those involved are stopped from getting tickets for future Northern Ireland matches.

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