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 regional newspaper 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.



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