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Bohs issue apology to FAI after breaching association's training guidelines

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Dalymount Park, home of Bohemian FC. Photo: Sportsfile

Dalymount Park, home of Bohemian FC. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Dalymount Park, home of Bohemian FC. Photo: Sportsfile

Bohemians have apologised to the FAI for not following the association's guidelines on Covid-19 for training.

The club issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was an "error" for a group of players to train in a public park, Bohs stating that they had obeyed by HSE guidelines though their decision to train was in conflict with advice issued by the FAI's Medical Director, Alan Byrne.

The FAI advice, issued last month, had cleared a way for the four clubs due to play in UEFA competition this season, including Bohs, to train in groups from next Monday, as part of Phase Two of the Government's plan on Covid-19 but Bohs had done some training this week, footage emerging on social media.

"We accept that facilitating small group training sessions was contrary to FAI advice and against the professional advice offered by the FAI's medical director Dr Alan Byrne," said a Bohemians spokesperson, in a statement released by the FAI.

"We are aware of our position as role models for the game in Ireland and are grateful to be one of the four teams involved in the pilot programme designed to secure a safer return to football for everyone involved with our sport across the country. We regret if our actions, although made in good faith in line with phase one of the government roadmap, may have placed that programme at risk.

"As a club, we apologise to the FAI and to all our fellow stakeholders for any offence caused. We are mindful of the huge amount of work and sacrifice being made by so many in this country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and we thank all those on the frontline for their ongoing contributions."

FAI Interim CEO Gary Owens said: "We are happy that Bohemians have reaffirmed their commitment to the pathway we are on to ensure a safer return to football. The guidelines we have issued are based on the best possible medical advice from our Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne.

"It is imperative that all our clubs abide by our guidelines to ensure we can get our players of all ages back on the pitch in the safest environment possible. Our pilot programme is central to this effort and we welcome confirmation from Bohemians that they will follow our guidelines and help Irish football return to action as soon as it is safe and feasible."

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