Saturday 25 November 2017

Cork schoolboy club fined €200 for removing team from game after alleged racist abuse

Ballea Park, home of Carrigaline United
Ballea Park, home of Carrigaline United

A Cork schoolboy club has been fined €200 for taking the decision to remove their team from a pitch after one of their players suffered alleged racial abuse.

The management of the Carrigaline United under-15s feel they have been unjustly punished for taking a stand against racism.

Their team needed three points to avoid relegation but pulled their team from the game after their player became visibly upset.

The player claimed he was being subjected to a tirade of racial abuse from an opposing player, the second time he has experienced such treatment this year.

Coach Mark McCarthy consulted with the referee who had not heard the alleged abuse  before deciding to take his team from the field in the hope of receiving a rematch.

“I had to make a moral decision,” said Mr McCarthy.

"I had to decide whether we should continue and try to win the game, or should I protect our player. I chose to back the player, protect him and the club. And we got punished for standing up for that. I made what I think was the moral decision. I think I made the correct decision.

"He’s been subjected to this kind of thing twice. The second time, I had to make a stand."

McCarthy was called before the Cork Schoolboys League’s disciplinary committee, which imposed a €200 fine on Carrigaline United.

Ted O’Callaghan, who also coaches the team  admitted being disappointed in the league’s decision to impose the sanction.

"We are a multicultural society and our sports clubs and teams reflect that. We feel we are being punished for taking a stand. These are only kids who want to play a game and we think the league is hiding behind the rule book here," he said.

An official statement from Carrigaline Utd read: "We wish to acknowledge all the recent interest in this matter. We the club fully support manager Mark McCarthy's moral decision to withdraw our team to protect our player from this type of behaviour.

"Racist comments are on the increase as identified by our league, we generally support their stand on this matter.

"The decision of the Cork Schoolboy League disciplinary committee is an internal matter for our club Carrigaline Utd. AFC and the Cork Schoolboy League, therefore we wish to make no further comment on this decision."

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