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FIFA Charge McClean & O’Neill Following Criticism Of Referee

31 August 2015; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill shakes hands with James McClean, during squad training. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Abbotstown, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE (Photo by Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images)

Martin O’Neill and James McClean have been charged by FIFA over comments relating to the referee following Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Austria last week, according to RTÉ. 

David Fernández Borbalán was heavily criticised by the duo following Shane Duffy’s disallowed goal that would have seen Ireland go clear at the top of their World Cup qualifying group, with Wales having also drawn their game on the same scoreline away to Serbia.

Those results mean the Boys in Green remain deadlocked with the Serbians at the top of group D while Wales take up third place, just four points adrift of the top two.

There has been divided opinion about whether or not the Duffy ‘goal’ should have stood. But McClean, who feels strongly that Duffy’s header should have resulted in a goal, had actually stated he knew the consequences of such comments during a frustrating outburst following the game.

“I know in this day and age you get fined, but you watched the game, you tell me.

“They [Austria] had a 12th man today. That’s all I’ll say on that. I’m really disappointed because we should have come away from that game with three points, but we didn’t.”

O’Neill stated that the the referee had been poor during the game and in his decision not to award the goal.

“I’ve seen it back again. It should count, the referee should have given the goal.

“It is a goal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.”

McClean and O’Neill have until Friday to respond to charges after FIFA began disciplinary proceedings.

The Republic of Ireland return to action on September 2 when they travel to face Georgia before a what is likely to be a huge top of the table clash at home to Serbia on September 5.

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena

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Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.