‘Racism’ case closed as Armagh withdraw claim

The Armagh County Board were yesterday forced to admit their description of racist abuse allegations in Portlaoise last Sunday was erroneous.

In a joint statement with Laois released by Croke Park, they acknowledged the exact nature of their claims were inaccurate.

On Tuesday, they had issued a press release stating their players had been subjected to “racist and personal abuse” and added there had been chanting of “God Save The Queen”.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner yesterday, Armagh secretary Paddy Óg Nugent said they had done so after considering Ciarán McKeever and other players’ version of events.

Yesterday, with Croke Park becoming involved, Armagh rowed back.

The joint statement read: “A meeting of representatives of Armagh and Laois County Boards took place today to discuss last Sunday’s Allianz League Football game in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.

“It was agreed that allegations made by Armagh County Board in their statement do not accurately reflect what occurred in O’Moore Park.

“It is acknowledged by both boards that inappropriate verbal exchanges took place between players during the game and this will be addressed with our respective panels.

“Both Laois and Armagh are committed to the playing of our games in the best possible spirit and look forward to the continuation of a keen, sporting rivalry.”

Armagh had intended raising the incident at their Central Hearing Committee (CHC) meeting this evening when McKeever and Orchard County selector Paul Grimley argue their charges arising from last Sunday’s game.

McKeever was shown a red card by referee Michael Duffy before the start of the second half following an incident in the tunnel at half-time.

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) recommended him a two-match ban, as it was a repeat Category II offence within the last 48 weeks.

Grimley has been proposed a 12-week ban for remonstrating with Duffy after the final whistle.


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