Friday 6 December 2019

Wexford coach Mattie Forde facing possible ban after Leitrim incident

Coach Matty Forde. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Coach Matty Forde. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Wexford football is in the eye of a storm with coach Matty Forde facing a possible ban, while manager David Power has described the fare in his side's loss to Antrim as "not football, but thuggery".

In the build-up to Sunday's Allianz League Division 4 game, it emerged that Forde is being investigated by the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) for an alleged incident during the county's opening round victory over Leitrim in Bellefield, with a possible suspension being recommended.

The incident is alleged to have taken placed during the second half, when a group of players went over the sideline in a chase for possession, close to the home side's dug-out. The matter was over in seconds, with play resuming with a sideline kick to the visitors.

However some seconds later referee Martin McNally, during a break in play close to the sideline, apparently told Forde to leave the pitch.

Forde left the dug-out area and Wexford hoped that would be the end of the matter.

However, Power said: "There is the possibility of a suspension but hopefully common sense will prevail.

"The referee did not approach Matty after the incident or take his name, until seconds later during the course of play, asking him to leave the pitch."

For the present Wexford GAA are remaining tight-lipped on the situation and are not commenting on any proposed findings from the investigations committee.

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However, it's understood that any proposed ban for Forde will be appealed.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the four-point defeat to Antrim in Corrigan Park, Power has lashed out at the northern style of football.

"I'm frustrated, disappointed and tired. Conditions were very tough but Antrim's physicality took the game to another extreme," he fumed.

"There was a stamping incident, a punch in the face and a clothes-line offence, and the referee (Sligo's John Gilmartin) failed to do anything about it. I'm not making excuses, but this is not football, it's thuggery.

"The weather and underfoot conditions are very conducive to the northern style of play, which is very defensive. The type of game played was not a forward-friendly game but on paper this is possibly our toughest away game, physically at least.

"We have lots of work to do before we take on London at the end of the month.

"There's lots of things we need to improve on which is what we will be concentrating on in training over the coming weeks."

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