The Republic of Ireland’s fans are to be awarded the City of Paris medal for their “sportsmanship” at Euro 2016, the French capital’s mayor announced on Tuesday.Mayor Anne Hidalgo told reporters on a visit to the city’s fan zone that she had sent a letter to Ireland’s president Michael D Higgins to tell him of her decision.
Hidalgo said Irish supporters deserved the honour after displaying “exemplary sportsmanship” and for the “good atmosphere” they generated as they followed Martin O’Neill’s side through the first round and to a 2-1 defeat to hosts France in the last 16.
The Republic’s ‘Green Army’ have been a feature of the tournament, winning over French locals as they passionately supported their team.O’Neill paid tribute to the Republic’s supporters after his side’s closing game in Lyon last Sunday.
“The fans have been wonderful in our four games and I believe they gave extra energy to the players throughout the tournament,” he said.”The players mentioned their support in the warm-up against Sweden, before our first game, and that’s continued until the end.
“They (the fans) have behaved themselves brilliantly and been a credit to the country.”
A date for the medal ceremony will be announced at a later date.