The FAI overturned a decision by the Cork Schoolboys League to remove St Mary’s from their U14 league.
Cork’s decision was taken after it found the team had fielded a player allegedly over the age-group in a fixture.
Despite their appeal being dismissed by the Schoolboys FAI (SFAI), St Mary’s received a different response at the next stage of the process. The FAI’s appeal committee withdrew the expulsion and cut the suspension of the player involved until March, but kept the fines on the two managers.
The Dublin District Schoolboys League (DDSL) proposed at Saturday’s SFAI council meeting that an arbitration hearing should be sought.
The motion was seconded by the CSL and, in a rare show of unity across schoolboy leagues, received support from all leagues present at the Red Cow Hotel summit.
Although the cost of such action is at least €10,000, the principle is one the underage fraternity are determined to preserve.
“This is not about the Cork Schoolboys League, it concerns all schoolboy football in the country,” stated Neil Cronin from the CSL. “The integrity of schoolboy football is based on keeping within the age grades. If that is tampered with, the entire basis of the sector is undermined.”