Show racism the red card, say Model chiefs

Wexford will put forward a motion at their annual convention at the end of the year to make racial abuse a red card offence.

The news comes in the wake of Tuesday night’s county board meeting where it was revealed that an officer stepped down from his position following a second racist abuse case in the county. County junior footballer Eddie Lawlor was allegedly abused by an umpire when playing for his club St Joseph’s.

An investigation is currently being carried out into the incident after St Josephs wrote a letter to the county board raising their concern at what they believe to have happened.

The county’s disciplinary committee will then issue a recommendation. In response to the matter, the county’s referees committee will also shortly call in all umpires for mandatory re-training concerning racial abuse.

County chairman Diarmuid Devereux was informed of the official’s resignation via a third party and informed delegates on Tuesday.

This latest incident follows two Duffry Rovers players being suspended for eight weeks for alleged racial abuse of Wexford dual player Lee Chin while playing for Sarsfields in a club game.

Wexford are keen to demonstrate that they endorse a zero tolerance approach to racism and believe their recommendation to make such abuse a straight dismissal offence would send out the right message.

Rule 1.12 of the GAA Official Guide states: “The Association is Anti-Sectarian and Anti-Racist.

“Any conduct by deed, word or gesture of a sectarian or racist nature against any player, official, spectator or anyone else, in the course of activities organised by the Association, shall be deemed to have discredited the Association.”

Such misconduct is punishable by at minimum an eight-week suspension or, at worst, debarment and expulsion from the Association.

The proposed motion is all but certain to be included on the Clár for next year’s Annual Congress in Derry.

Earlier this week, Chin revealed it was not the first time he had encountered racial abuse in the GAA. Chin is in the shake-up to start for Wexford in Sunday’s Leinster SFC semi-final against Dublin in Croke Park.

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