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.
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.