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Damien Duff to keep 100 caps

Duff to keep 100 caps
© PA Photos
Damien Duff will keep his century of caps for Ireland despite an administrative error threatening his record.

Damien Duff has been told that he will keep his century of caps despite an administrative error threatening one of his appearances.

The Republic of Ireland's friendly against Hungary in June was in danger of being wiped from FIFA's records after assistant referee David Vang Andersen was discovered to have been absent from their registered referees.

However, FIFA confirmed that the decision to award caps is left to the national association's discretion, and the FAI have decided to give their players caps for the match.

"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," said an FAI spokesperson.

"They have also confirmed that it is their intention to record the fixture as an international match for the purposes of caps. Separately, FIFA confirmed to the FAI this morning that one of the assistant referees who officiated at the match, Mr David Vang Andersen, was not on the current FIFA list of referees and this is the reason why they are not recognising the match for their international ranking coefficient.

"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."

A similar incident occurred for Ireland in 1995 when the FAI awarded players caps for an abandoned friendly against England.

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