Ireland fans awarded medal for sportsmanship by Paris mayor

Republic of Ireland fans have been recognized for their sportsmanship at Euro 2016 by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has announced she will award them the Grand Vermeil, or Medal of the City of Paris.

At a stage of the football tournament when trouble involving Russian, English, German and Ukrainian fans was threatening to overshadow the events on the field, the Irish supporters brought some much-needed levity to proceedings.

Their joint rendition - with the help of the Swedes - of ABBA's Dancing Queen on the streets of Paris went viral, as did pictures of Irish fans stopping to help an elderly French couple change the tyre on their car.

Now their general good humour and positive support for their team will be rewarded by Hidalgo, who tweeted they had been "exceptional" and said they were "exemplary in their sportsmanship".

The mayor has written to Irish President Michael D Higgins to inform him of the award of the Grand Vermeil, the highest honour the city can bestow.

It is not yet known when the medal ceremony will take place, but the Irish will certainly be in good company: previous winners include tennis star Rafael Nadal, groundbreaking jazz musician Herbie Hancock and Toni Morrison, who won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Ireland were knocked out in the last 16 of Euro 2016 by hosts France.

Last update: Wed, 29/06/2016 - 16:02
Author: 

More from Sport

Sevilla beat Real Madrid to end their 40-game unbeaten run

Sevilla ended Real Madrid’s 40-game unbeaten run on Sunday in Spain’s top division with a 2-1 victory.

Barcelona president reassures supporters over Messi's future

 Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu reassured supporters on Saturday that the club would renew Leo Messi’s...

Record champion Peterhansel clinches Dakar rally win

Record winner Stephane Peterhansel secured his 13th Dakar Rally victory when he held off fellow Peugeot driver...

Croatia's Kostelic says goodbye to World Cup races in Wengen

Swiss Niels Hintermann on Friday won a World Cup Wengen men's super combined, while the best Croatian Alpine skier,...

Benzema strike helps Madrid set unbeaten record in cup thriller

Karim Benzema's stoppage time strike helped Real Madrid set a new Spanish record of 40 games unbeaten on Thursday,...