Monday 26 February 2018

Masterson to apologise over Fahy jibe after ultimatum

Gaelic Games

Wexford goalkeeper
Anthony Masterson is in
hot water after criticising
referee Derek Fahy over
his performance against
Wexford goalkeeper Anthony Masterson is in hot water after criticising referee Derek Fahy over his performance against Limerick
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

WEXFORD football goalkeeper Anthony Masterson is set to apologise to referee Derek Fahy after being threatened with an eight-week ban for his recent critical outburst against the Longford official.

The Slaneysiders' netminder has been ordered by the GAA to apologise in writing for his post-match comments or else face a swingeing suspension that would put him out of club football action for two months.

The player confirmed last night that he will be submitting a written apology to the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) in the coming days, as requested, and just wants to put the incident behind him.

But the action taken against him is unprecedented in recent GAA history.

It is understood that Masterson has been cited under Rule 7.2 (e), which governs 'misconduct considered to have discredited the association'.

This has been used on rare occasions against managers who have been particularly outspoken about referees, and it is extremely unusual to implement it against a player.

Masterson's emotions got the better of him in the highly charged aftermath of losing to Limerick in the All-Ireland qualifiers two weeks ago.

He was highly critical of Fahy in post-match interviews for awarding the winning score (an Ian Ryan pointed free) to Limerick deep into stoppage-time and failing to take into account that one of his umpires clearly indicated that he thought it was wide. Television replays were inconclusive.

But Wexford were furious that Fahy did not err on the side of caution and just let the game go to extra-time.

The GAA's dramatic reaction to Masterson's comments is not only unprecedented but has also highlighted an anomaly, because several of his Wexford team-mates have lashed out at Fahy via Twitter. But the GAA has no official rules that cover comments made on Twitter or other social media sites.

Wexford's goalkeeper appears to have been singled out for disciplinary action because he was the only one directly quoted in the national media, including television and radio.

The Irish Independent understands that the only communication Wexford have received about the highly controversial incident was a letter demanding an apology from Masterson.

Wexford County Board would not comment last night, but it is believed they will help Masterson draft the apology and hope this brings the controversy to a close.

Irish Independent

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