BY CHRIS MCNULTY
SWILLY Rovers have been granted an adjournment by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for their appeal against sanctions imposed on them because of alleged racist chanting at a recent underage game at Swilly Park.
The Ramelton club was due to attend a hearing at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown on Friday after lodging an appeal to the Disciplinary Controls Unit (DCU) in light of being handed down severe sanctions by the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland.
Swilly requested an adjournment to enable their legal team to dissect the reams of paperwork that have accompanied the case. This request was accepted by FAI chiefs and the club will now go before the FAI Appeals Committee next Tuesday, April 1, at the Abbotstown offices.
Two weeks ago, Swilly attended an SFAI hearing at the Red Cow inn, Dublin, to answer an allegation that a player from Castlebar Celtic – the centre-back, Thierry Baba – was the subject of ‘chants of a racial nature’ from a section of the attendance at an Under-15 National Cup game on March 1.
Following that sitting, the SFAI heavily penalised Swilly, fining the club €1,000, instructing the club to play all future games in this season’s SFAI Cup away from Swilly Park and also insisting that the club undertake an FAI Intercultural Racism programme.
Swilly immediately called a club meeting and subsequently launched what is said to be a stern defence of the allegations that have been levelled in their direction.
The 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. The SFAI began proceedings after receiving the match report of referee Joe McHugh.
Swilly were due to play Kerry side Kingdom Boys in the quarter-final last Saturday, but because of the appeal the game has now been placed on the long finger. Swilly were drawn at home, but the SFAI subsequently ruled that the tie would be played in Lucan, Dublin.
The Ramelton club has taken legal advice on the matter, which they have since referred to An Garda Siochana and the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Swilly will be represented by a high-powered club delegation on Tuesday and FAI rules entitle the club third party representation if it so wishes. Generally, the DCU issue decisions within three days of appeal hearings.