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Swilly Rovers to appeal heavy SFAI sanction over ‘racism’ allegation

Swilly Rovers

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

SWILLY Rovers are set to lodge an appeal after being heavily sanctioned by the Schoolboys’ Football Association of Ireland (SFAI) over an alleged racial incident at a game in Swilly Park.

The Ramelton-based club attended a hearing with the SFAI at the Red Cow Inn, Dublin on Wednesday evening to answer an allegation that a player from Castlebar Celtic was the subject of ‘chants of a racial nature’ from a section of the attendance at an Under-15 SFAI National Cup game on March 1.

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This morning the club was informed that it faced a fine of €1,000. Also, future games in this season’s SFAI Cups (including the Under-15 quarter-final against Kingdom Boys from Kerry) will have to be played at a neutral venue and the club will be required to undertake an FAI Intercultural Racism programme.

However, the club vehemently contesting the allegation and a hastily-arranged club meeting tonight is expected to confirm that an appeal will be lodged with the FAI.

A four-man SFAI disciplinary body heard the case on Wednesday.

Swilly were represented at the hearing by Chairman, Edward Diver, Treasurer, Mick Geever, Under-15 manager Tony McNamee as well as club members PJ Kavanagh and Brian Harte.

The alleged incident involved the 14-year old Cameroon-born centre-back Thierry Baba and an investigation was launched by the SFAI on foot of a complaint by Mayo Intercultural Action, who made the FAI Intercultural Programme Co-Ordinator, Des Tomlinson, aware of the claims.

After receiving the match report of referee Joe McHugh, the SFAI began proceedings which resulted in Wednesday’s hearing and the sanctions that followed.

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