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EMMA RYAN: Cork warm-up belittles Women’s FAI Cup final

Wexford Youths who won the Women's FAI Cup Final last Sunday.

Wexford Youths who won the Women’s FAI Cup Final last Sunday.

The Senior Women’s FAI Cup final took place in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin last Sunday. Kick off was at 12:20 and following the women’s game, the Men’s Senior FAI cup final took place.

Shelbourne Ladies and Wexford Youths played out a dramatic and exciting game of football which was unsettled in 110 minutes of football. The champions were decided by penalties and it was Wexford who came out of the shoot out as 4-2 winners.

The dramatic way in which Wexford were crowned champions should have been the main topic of conversation after the game. Unfortunately, the limelight was taken away from them and the discussion turned to how the Cork City men’s team warmed up at the opposite end of the pitch while the winners of the women’s final was still being decided.

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When this happened on Sunday, the attention was distracted from the thrilling game of football that had just been played and the penalties that were about to take place. It is beyond me how any sportsman out warming up on that pitch thought it was acceptable to do so and didn’t feel that they should have waited the extra five minutes before the women’s final was finished.

If I was to ask the question, would a women’s team been allowed to enter the pitch to warm up while a men’s final was still on going? I firmly believe that not many sports fans would say yes.

I am aware that the men had a final to prepare for and had a strict warm up prepared to ensure they were fully ready for the cup final but a final of equal importance was already taken place and should have been allowed to finish prior to the warm up. It belittled the women’s game and showed disrespect to both teams involved in the final and should not have been allowed to happen.

Although the Cork’s men team did get the blame for their actions, the problem could have been solved if the organisers had of pushed the starting time of the second match back by 15 minutes to allow for the women’s game to finish uninterrupted and adequate time for the men to warm up.

In a time where women’s sport is steadily progressing it is a shame to have such a huge event tarnished by something that could easily have been avoided.

Apart from this, the women’s final was played in front of crowd of around 1,000 people. The overall attendance at the men’s match reached 25,103 people. The ticket for the day admitted the supporters into both games and it is disappointing that the crowd would not turn up for the women’s final.

The quality and skill displayed throughout the game on Sunday would equal any men’s match but yet again, the women were not given the support or respect that they deserve.

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