SNAKE BITES English FA order the removal of the 'snake' advert mocking Jack Grealish and Declan Rice
English FA chiefs ordered the removal of an advert depicting Jack Grealish and Declan Rice as 'snakes' as they prepared to play against the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Thursday night.
Paddy Power ran the advert that stirred up a huge reaction on social media channels when it appeared on sundayworld.com early on Thursday morning.
Yet the FA did not appear to see the funny side, as they ordered the owner of the advertising hording to take down the image of the two players who started their international careers in Ireland colours.
Grealish played for Ireland at underage level before opting to commit his international future to England, while Rice played at senior level in a green shirt before accepting an offer to play for the country of his birth.
The duo were the subject of plenty of criticism as they walked away from the Irish game despite previous claims they were committed to the cause.
While Rice has established himself in Gareth Southgate's England midfield, Grealish is still aiming to make an international breakthrough and both look set to play a role in the friendly international against Stephen Kenny's Ireland.
Yet they may prefer to look away when the England team bus pulls up at Wembley tonight, as Paddy Power will give them a timely reminder of their Irish past.
Heat maps are normally used to identify the areas of the pitch a player cover over the course of a match, yet this version is a little more devious:
Yet Grealish and Rice were spared the embarrassment of seeing the video image as they arrived at Wembley, with a Paddy power spokesman questioning why the English FA has a humour bypass.
"I didn’t think our joke would be taken that badly, especially as we’ve always expected England to have the last laugh on the pitch, anyway," he told us.
"Still, everyone in Ireland and their dog had already seen the ad, so turning it off seems a bit after the horse has bolted to me."