McClean quits Twitter after receiving death threats following Euro 2012 call-up

Irish star has closed this account on the social networking website after receiving sectarian abuse in the wake of his inclusion in Giovanni Trapattoni's 23-man squad

James McClean has deleted his Twitter account after receiving death threats on the site from fans angry with his decision to play for the Republic of Ireland.

The 23-year-old’s account has a 'Sorry, that page doesn't exist' message after the player elected to quit the social networking website.

The Sunderland winger had been targeted by irate Northern Ireland fans who vented their anger that the Derry-born star opted to play for the Republic instead.

It is understood that the users who sent the offending tweets subsequently closed their accounts.

15/4 Republic of Ireland are 15/4 with Sportingbet to qualify from Group C at Euro 2012.

McClean, who represented Northern Ireland at youth level, appeared to anger the Twitter fraternity by engaging with them following the announcement that he was part of Giovanni Trapattoni's Euro 2012 squad.

The Football Association of Ireland said in a statement: "It’s unfortunate that he has come off Twitter but maybe it’s best in the short term for him."

Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne added: "Any incidents of this nature are treated with the utmost seriousness and the club is looking into this matter carefully.’’