Electronic Arts has today apologised for a culturally sensitive blunder in UEFA Euro 2008 - in which the Northern Ireland football team stand to The Soldier's Song, traditionally sung at United Ireland sporting events.
A [Register or Login to view links] in Northern Ireland reports that fans reacted with 'surprise' to hear the anthem represent their national team in the game.
One fan posted a shocked comment on an internet football forum to simply say, "So Northern Ireland has no identity now I suppose."
EA spokesperson Shaun White apologized for the error. He stated:
"At EA Sports, we pride ourselves on delivering rich and authentic videogame experiences. We sincerely apologise for this error."
That apology has been welcomed by NI Sports Minister Gregory Campbell. He said: "Any apology on this matter is most welcome. Obviously there's has been a lack of knowledge on the makers' part and hopefully it will be changed as soon as possible."
The official Northern Ireland national anthem is God Save Our Queen.