Caulfield wants FAI to review penalties for crowd trouble


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Caulfield wants FAI to review penalties for crowd trouble Caulfield wants FAI to review penalties for crowd trouble

IT takes a special kind of stupid to punish one club for the sins of another, but that is what the FAI has done – and not for the first time – with a ban on Shelbourne fans from attending this Friday’s Premier Division clash with Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm).

One of the assistant referees at Shelbourne’s game away to Drogheda United fortnight ago was struck by a pyrotechnic which was thrown from the stand housing only Shelbourne fans in Weaver Park.

The game was stopped for a number of minutes to allow the match official to receive treatment – thankfully his injuries were minor – before it was played out to a finish.

The FAI announced last Thursday evening that as a result of the incident, and “following the conclusion of a disciplinary process” into the incident, Shelbourne fans would be banned from attending their next away game, which happens to be this Friday’s clash on the Dyke Road.

It subsequently emerged on Wednesday of this week that the initial punishment meted out to Shelbourne was a total stadium closure for this coming on day’s home game against Shamrock Rovers, which is to be televised live on Virgin Media.

Shelbourne appealed that decison, and a new disciplinary committee downgraded the penalty from affecting a Shels home game, to banning their fans from an away game.

Many feel that while a punishment is justified for the incident up in Drogheda, the decision by the disciplinary committee actually punishes United rather than Shelbourne, a line of thought clearly shared by Galway United manager, John Caulfield.

“The problem for us is we are going to lose €5,000 to €6,000 on the gate, it is a nonsensical decision,” he said of the ban on Shelbourne fans this Friday.

“If you want to penalise anyone, if you want to hit Shels hard with a fine, you do that, but I think it is a scenario where banning them for away matches doesn’t make any sense – I think a better alternative is they suffer at home with their own gate,” he said.

Pictured: Galway United’s Conor McCormack who faces a one-match suspension if picking up another yellow card.

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