Sunday 21 January 2018

Eamon Dunphy references ‘fierce’ West Cork GAA rivalry when discussing disturbing FA Cup crowd issues

Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy has described as “inexplicable” the crowd incidents which marred the weekend’s FA Cup action.

A police investigation is underway after West Bromwich Albion midfielder Chris Brunt was struck with a coin by his own supporters following the Baggies disappointing defeat to Reading while objects appeared to have been thrown onto the pitch during Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat of Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have vowed to ban any supporter found responsible for coin-throwing.

Speaking on 2FM’s GameOn programme, Dunphy believes the problem goes beyond football in England.

“It’s always been part of English society…well not always, but going back 50 years and football hooliganism,” he said.

“We see and hear things on the terraces and in the stands that’s racist and ugly.

“It’s societal. It doesn’t reflect on the sport, but it’s deeply shocking.

“This is to my mind inexplicable. We [Irish people] are lucky. We really should talk more about it. GAA games, rugby games, I can never recall anything ugly or racist.

“There’s a vibe in England that you don’t get here. There’s and edge and a nastiness to it.”

The outspoken pundit again referenced the difference in crowd behaviour at sporting events between England and Ireland and used a GAA club example to illustrate his point.

“There’s fierce rivalry say in West Cork in the Gaelic Football between Skibbereen and Castlehaven,” he told listeners.

“I know because I lived down there. It’s savage, in kind of a nice way. Afterwards everyone has a drink, but the rivalry is as bitter as can possibly be…but it would never become the kind of visceral thing that you have people chanting about an aircrash or the tragedy of Hillsborough.

“I can’t even understand those people, but they are there and there is a lot of them.”

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