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GUEST,Den at work BS: Irelands World Cup Part 2 (102* d) RE: BS: Irelands World Cup Part 2 20 Jun 02

The Republic of Ireland fans have been awarded for their passionate support and good behaviour by being declared the best supporters to visit Japan during this year's World Cup finals.

The announcement was made by the country's tournament director Junji Ogura, who was amazed by the following the travelling green army gave to their team.

"I've been very impressed by the Irish supporters," said Ogura. "They gave amazing support to the Irish team and they were loved by the Japanese people. They taught Japan the joy of watching football. They were definitely the best supporters of the tournament so far."

The Irish fans played a major contribution in Japan, backing the team to three unbeaten games against Cameroon, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

The fans once again proved their loyalty on Tuesday night as 100,000 people turned up at the Phoenix Park to welcome Mick McCarthy's squad home after their World Cup endeavours.

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