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First Division licensing issues no closer to being resolved

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The confusion surrounding the League of Ireland First Division season is set to rumble into next week, but Shamrock Rovers II have got the green light to take part. (stock photo)

The confusion surrounding the League of Ireland First Division season is set to rumble into next week, but Shamrock Rovers II have got the green light to take part. (stock photo)

The confusion surrounding the League of Ireland First Division season is set to rumble into next week, but Shamrock Rovers II have got the green light to take part. (stock photo)

The confusion surrounding the League of Ireland First Division season is set to rumble into next week, but Shamrock Rovers II have got the green light to take part.

Premier and First Division sides have received notification from the FAI about their licensing application and several clubs have been told to provide responses to queries in order be fully approved.

This wouldn't be unusual but the row surrounding the inclusion of a Rovers second string and the saga of Limerick FC have made it a much more pressing concern.

As it stands, the FAI have released two different fixture lists for the division, with Limerick included in one and not in the other. Meanwhile, Rovers are in both versions even though rival clubs have spoken of boycotting matches with the Hoops.

First Division sides again held talks last night with one source admitting they were at an 'impasse' due to licensing and queries about punishments if they do protest.

Limerick have yet to prove they tick all the licensing boxes. Owner Pat O'Sullivan had to go through legal channels before the FAI allowed Limerick to apply.

The authorities were preparing to move on without the Shannonsiders, with new entity Treaty United - originally named Limerick United before it emerged O'Sullivan had ownership over the name - planning to field youth sides. But a Limerick FC tweet last night cast doubt over the Treaty plans, citing correspondence with the FAI.

While the Premier Division kicks off next week, the First Division is due to begin on February 21 - although if Limerick are accepted as an 11th side then the opening weeks will consist of a new Shield competition.

Irish Independent