English Premiership

Pulis slams McClean over anthem scandal

2015-07-21 15:12
Tony Pulis (AFP)

London - West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has rebuked controversial Irish midfielder James McClean for not respecting the British national anthem before a friendly match in the United States.

Before Albion's game against Charleston Battery in South Carolina, both teams turned towards the national flags during the anthems, but McClean turned away and stood with head down.

He had previously caused a stir in 2012 when playing for Sunderland by refusing to wear a poppy on his shirt ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

McClean, who comes from a nationalist area of Northern Ireland, received death threats on twitter after that from a man claiming to be a former British solider.

Pulis told Albion's website (www.wba.co.uk) on Tuesday, "I had a chat with him and explained what we do as a football club and the way we are and I think he's fine with everything.

"He's got to turn towards the flag like everybody else has and he recognises that.

"He thought he was OK to close his eyes and put his head down in respect of both anthems.

"Obviously there has been a stigma around him and he doesn't need to start that up again.

"So hopefully we've nipped it in the bud and we can get on with our things and he can get on with his things."

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