'I sincerely apologise for any offence cause' – Declan Rice issues statement after 'Up the Ra' tweets resurface

Declan Rice has issued a statement over his ‘sincere apology’ after old social media messages emerged that appeared to show his support for the IRA.

West Ham midfielder Rice played three senior internationals for the Republic of Ireland being confirming his intention to switch his allegiances to England last month.

His move has been the source of huge debate across the game in recent weeks, with the latest developments a source of real embarrassment for Rice as he is currently training with the England team after his first call-up for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Rumours suggesting he would issue a statement on the social media messages emerged on Thursday and it duly arrived as he posted this messages on Instagram.

“I am aware that a poorly-expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media,” he wrote.

“I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my team-mates at the time could be negatively interpreted.

“While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”

England manager Gareth Southgate is expected to be quizzed on the issue when he faces the media later on Thursday.

More to follow….

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