Limerick not giving up on Barca date
Published 15/05/2010 | 05:00
LIMERICK FC have initiated legal correspondence with the FAI and are still keen to bring Barcelona to Thomond Park, with the Spanish giants indicating they want the fixture to go ahead.
Officials at the Shannonside club endured a hectic day yesterday, between meeting with their solicitors, fielding calls and emails from wellwishers around the country and trying to organise last night's First Division clash with Mervue United.
They have prepared a joint statement with Barcelona which should be released today, that will detail further gripes with the FAI over their refusal to sanction the July 31 friendly meeting with the Catalans.
As of last night, the only official explanation they have received from the FAI is the email which states that the game cannot go ahead because it clashes with League of Ireland fixtures.
The FAI have said that a third-party commercial agreement was the main factor, in addition to negotiations between themselves and Barca for a separate game, but Limerick have received no clarity on those excuses.
Furthermore, it's understood that Barcelona are bemused by the suggestion that they are in "ongoing" discussions with the FAI, although they did discuss the possibility of visiting Lansdowne Road.
Indeed, Limerick's reason for pursuing legal action is related to what they perceive as interference by the FAI in the competition to secure the presence of the La Liga giants.
They accept it is stated in the rules that the FAI hold the authority on sanctioning matches, yet they are contemplating if they have the right to pursue the case in the "spirit of the game". Limerick have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from other League of Ireland clubs, who have urged the powers that be at the club to fight their corner.
FAI CEO John Delaney yesterday denied that another League of Ireland club was also refused a request to host Barca in a friendly encounter.