Due to the status of an assistant referee during the friendly in Budapest, some doubt was cast over the authenticity of caps won in the pre-Euro 2012 friendly against HungaryDamien Duff’s achievement of winning 100 Republic of Ireland caps is no longer in doubt after the FAI confirmed that all caps awarded in the Boys in Green's friendly with Hungary in June will be honoured despite the game's records being in danger of being expunged.
The Fulham winger hung up his international boots after Ireland’s ill-fated Euro 2012 campaign having reached a century of appearances for his country but a Fifa spokesman said the appointment of an assistant referee was not ‘in compliance with the FIFA regulations’ and therefore the Hungary friendly fixture would not count towards international ranking co-efficients.
According to the governing body, assistant referee David Vang was not on the current list of Fifa-recognised officials and therefore the game has not been included on the official list of results for the Republic of Ireland.
The Football Association of Ireland was quick to respond to the reports and released a statement confirming that as an away match, the Hungarian FA was responsible for all aspects of the fixture and that they were currently in talks with Fifa in an attempt to have the fixture recognised for ranking positions.
“As an away match, the Hungarian FA was responsible for all aspects of the fixture. The Hungarian FA said this morning that they were unaware of the matter but have been in contact with Fifa.
"They said that they intend to continue their discussions with Fifa in order to have the fixture recognised for international ranking purposes. They have also confirmed that it is their intention to record the fixture as an international match for the purposes of caps.”
The friendly which took place at the start of June in Budapest was Duff’s 97th game in a green jersey but the FAI statement revealed that the decision to award a cap is at the discretion of the national association and confirmed that they will honour caps won by players in the goalless draw.
“Fifa and Uefa also confirmed this morning that the decision to award a cap is at the discretion of the National Association and that they do not keep a central record of caps. The Football Association of Ireland has decided that the players who participated in the fixture deserve caps, particularly Damien Duff for the service that he gave to his country. Consequently, the Association has informed Damien that it will recognise his status as having earned 100 caps for Ireland.”