Diplomatic relations between Ireland and France have crumbled ahead of the two nation's World Cup qualifying playoff, according to alleged letters between the two nations allegedly leaked to an alleged Irish soccer blog.
Irish Soccer Insider tells the world there's now a "full-blown diplomatic row brewing" after the French Consulate General asked the Irish Department of Diplomatic Affairs to provide French president Nicolas Sarkozy with a "VIP box" for Saturday's all-important match at Croke Park in Dublin.
In response to the alleged request, alleged Irish diplomat Bill O'Leary allegedly responded by asking what size box the French Consulate had in mind. The alleged French Consulate was allegedly confused by the question: "We were not aware that boxes at the stadium came in different sizes. Do the dimensions have any bearing on one's enjoyment of the game?"
The Irish responded in the affirmative - allegedly: "The overall match experience will certainly be influenced by the President's choice of box. The first box is 30cm high and will allow the President to see most of the Croke Park pitch, though he may not be quite able to see play in the North-West quadrant. The second box is 60cm, but whilst this will afford the President a panoramic view of the pitch, it will also make him visible to Press photographers which may compromise his privacy," reads the alleged letter.
"Rest assured we will be treating this matter with the utmost confidentially."
The French were allegedly miffed: "When we requested a 'VIP box' for our President, we were not looking for a box for him to stand on. Whilst we expect the foreign media to make humorous remarks about the President's diminutive stature, we do not expect this from an official representative of the Irish Government department."
This allegedly prompted an apology from the Irish, who allegedly claimed they had intended no humor, before adding: "Naturally, we will make a VIP 'Executive' box available to the President, with full security and hospitality arrangements in place. The boxes will then be placed discreetly inside."
At which point, the alleged French allegedly informed the alleged Irish that Sarkozy would remain in Paris to watch the match on television, before allegedly adding that a formal complaint about the conduct of the Irish would be lodged "at the highest levels."
The Irish allegedly responded by saying: "Fair enough. We look forward to seeing the boys in green give your lot a good hammering." ®