The Cork Schoolboys League have confirmed in a statement that the result and the fine to Carrigaline United will stand following the club’s decision not to continue a league game after a player was allegedly subjected to racial abuse during the match.
The League has also stated that they are yet to receive any complaint from the club of racist abuse suffered during the contest in question.
A report in Tuesday’s Irish Examiner told how Carrigaline United’s coach Mark McCarthy saw his player come off at half-time in a “distressed state” after being subject to what he called “a tirade of verbal racist abuse from a player on the opposing team”.
McCarthy also claimed the referee had not heard the alleged comments and he then decided his team would not return to the field, as according to him, it was the second time his player had faced such abuse.
“I know things are said on the field of play, but you have to take a stand. We are a multicultural society and our sports clubs and teams reflect that,” O'Callaghan told the Irish Examiner.
“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 added.
Abandoning the game also saw Carrigaline United relegated as a result of the points lost that day. An issue that didn’t even enter the mind of coach McCarthy.
“The relegation doesn't even matter to me. My players' welfare is what is important. I am a coach, I'm not the manager of the team and I think there should be more support for those in charge of youngsters who need guidelines for situations like this.
“I'm not talking about pages of rules and regulations, I'm talking about a support that needs to be in place for when incidents, like what happened to our team, occur,” he said speaking to the Cork Independent.
“I believe I was right and the Cork Schoolboys League were wrong.”
The Cork Schoolboys League for their part has said: “The position of the League is that it is not appropriate to abandon a match in circumstances where there is alleged misconduct of any form, however serious.
“In participating in our League, our members and clubs have agreed to be bound by the rules, policies and procedures of the Cork Schoolboys League. Abandonment of a match in these circumstances constitutes a breach of those rules, policies and procedures to which the club in question has subscribed.”
“Unfortunately in this instance, such action leaves the club in question open to sanction, pursuant to the rules, policies and procedures of the League,” said the League in their statement.
The story has been attracting a lot of comment on social media and was picked up internationally by Eurosport.
The League stressed in their statement that they held an information meeting open to all clubs on racism and reporting of alleged racist comments in Ballincollig on January 27, which was presided over by the FAI Intercultural Officer Des Tomlinson.
It is not clear from the statement if all clubs in the league attended that meeting.
They have also added that if there are no further updates to this issue they will not comment again.