Home Football FAI Fined €10,000 By UEFA For Tennis Ball Protest

FAI Fined €10,000 By UEFA For Tennis Ball Protest

UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifing Round Group D, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 26/3/2019 Republic of Ireland vs Georgia Ireland's goalkeeper Darren Randolph removes tennis balls from the field Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

The FAI have been slapped with a €10,000 fine by UEFA following a protest by fans during their Euro 2020 Qualifier against Georgia last month.

Ireland fans threw tennis balls onto the pitch during the first half of the game in a protest against John Delaney’s appointment as Executive Vice-President of the association.

The game was briefly halted before the mood was lifted when Conor Hourihane struck for the only goal of the match.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, UEFA have decided to discipline the FAI under Article 16 (2) of their regulations, which relates to the throwing of objects.

The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) have fined the association €10,000 for the breach.

Former chief executive, John Delaney, has since temporarily stepped aside from his newly-created role pending an investigation.

Speaking during the week, Republic of Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy insisted that the governance debacle would not affect matters on-the-field, despite last month’s protest.

“I think that’s had it’s consequences,” said McCarthy.

“Isn’t that what the protest was about?

“It would appear to be that the consequences are that things are changing. They aren’t with the football.

“I’ll turn up and go to Portugal unless somebody turns up and tells me we can’t do it because of financial reasons, or we can’t play here (at the Aviva) because they’ve shut it because of what’s going on. Who’s going to tell me that? I am still doing the job I am employed to do and I will continue to do it in the way I do it.”

The controversy first began in March following the revelation that Delaney had written a €100,000 cheque to the association in 2017 as a “short-term loan.”

He appeared in front of an Oireachtas Committee in April but refused to answer questions on legal advice.

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter