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Collins vows to challenge suspension in the courts

RODDY COLLINS has vowed to take the FAI to court over his suspension over comments made on a radio show -- and the Monaghan United boss will have former FAI CEO Fran Rooney fighting his corner.

Collins was put in the dock by the FAI over comments he made during a discussion on RTé radio on the weekend of the FAI AGM in July. An FAI disciplinary committee found Collins was guilty of "Disparaging Comments", in breach of the FAI's participation agreement with League of Ireland clubs and their employees, and the Dubliner was given a six-match ban and a €1,000 fine.

On appeal that six-game suspension was lifted and the fine halved, but Collins was still deemed guilty of the "Disparaging Comments" charge, and now the Cabra man will take the matter further.


"Roddy Collins' legal adviser has today written a letter to the FAI following the rejection of his appeal by the FAI Disciplinary Appeal of the decision of the FAI Disciplinary Committee who found him guilty of "Disparaging Remarks" during an open discussion on the RTE Radio 1 Saturday Sport programme of 16 July 2011," said a statement issued by Collins' legal team.

"Mr Collins is minded that the FAI's actions hinder and censor legitimate freedom of speech in breach of and in denial of the exercise of his constitutional rights and he has only participated in the proceedings under protest and has never in any way waived his constitutional rights and intends to assert them by whatever means necessary. Reluctantly, it is his view that this issue can only be decided in the Courts of Ireland," the statement added.

The legal threat could turn out to be a major embarrassment to the association, especially as his comments on the radio show, which included a debate on the salary of current FAI CEO John Delaney, were generally deemed to be fair and well-presented.