The Ireland international has deleted the social networking accounts after making an”ill-advised and offensive” post.

James McClean has been fined two weeks’ wages and agreed to delete his Instagram accounts after looking to make a joke concerning the Irish Republican Army, Stoke City have verified.

With social distancing measures in place in the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic, Stoke winger McClean uploaded a contentious post to his Instagram narrative.

Captioned”Today’s school lesson – background”, with a laughing emoji, the 30-year-old was envisioned facing his kids wearing a balaclava – imagery synonymous with the IRA. An internet petition has been started calling for Stoke to sack McClean for his or her actions.

A Stoke statement confirmed McClean’s read and punishment:

“Stoke City can confirm that, after an internal disciplinary review, disciplinary action was taken against James McClean for an unsuitable social networking post.

“McClean has been fined two weeks’ wages by the Club and has also agreed to delete his Instagram account.

“The participant has expressed contrition and recognises that the article was offensive.

“The Club and the participant will be making no further comment on the subject.”

McClean added: “I never wanted to cause any offence but I now realise that I did so and for that, I apologise unreservedly.

“I’ve spoken to the club and will be deleting my Instagram account”

The Republic of Ireland worldwide has complained of”continuous sectarian abuse” in English soccer and has been booed by Stoke fans last season for refusing to wear a poppy, the traditional symbol of Remembrance Sunday.

McClean, from Derry on the boundary of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, has suggested wearing a poppy would represent”a gesture of disrespect for the innocent men and women who lost their lives from the Troubles – and Bloody Sunday particularly”.

He added: “If the poppy was only about World War One and Two victims alone, I would wear it with no problem.

“I’d wear it every day of the year if this was the thing but it does not. It stands for all of the conflicts that Britain has been involved in. Due to history, where I come from in Derry, I can’t wear something which represents that.”