Friday 19 January 2018

'Show will go on' despite Cork anger

SFAI chairman Mick O'Brien said
SFAI chairman Mick O'Brien said "the show will go on"

John Fallon

THE controversial re-draw of the Schoolboy Football Association of Ireland (SFAI) national cup competitions took place last night in Abbotstown amid growing anger in Cork.

The draw for the five competitions – featuring age-groups between U-12 and U-16 – was conducted in the presence of FAI board member Donal Conway.

The original draw made last month for the open section, where qualifiers from all eight regions of the country, didn't include any provision for teams from the Dublin and District Schoolboys League.

However, FAI intervention prompted the SFAI to reverse the decision taken a fortnight ago to exclude DDSL teams.

That U-turn has caused a major backlash among other leagues, especially Cork. The 11 Leeside clubs involved in last night's draw sent a letter to the SFAI "reserving their position" on whether to participate.

That threat to withdraw may translate into action now that new draw paired some Cork teams with DDSL opponents.

If Cork withdraw, other leagues may follow their lead.

SFAI chairman Mick O'Brien insists that walkovers will be awarded if some teams refuse to fulfil their fixtures. "The show will go on, no matter what clubs decide to do," he said.

Irish Independent

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