Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley has hit out at the postponement of his side’s clash with Waterford as well as five other League of Ireland games, due to U21 call-ups for the upcoming Toulon Tournament.
Irish U21s manager Stephen Kenny selected seven home-based players in his 22-man squad with six Premier Division games being postponed as a result.
Bradley’s Rovers side have no players involved but their scheduled opponents, Waterford are represented through Zach Elbouzedi and Aaron Drinan.
Speaking on Monday, in quotes reported by The Sun.ie, Bradley hit out at the decision to cancel the games and outlined that English-based players only should have been called up for the Toulon Tournament
“I think it’s a joke that we’re not playing. It’s madness, it’s not good enough.
“Toulon is a great tournament and should we go to it? Yes. But we need to understand that we can’t have six games off because of it.
“It should have been England-based players for the simple fact we’re in the middle of the season.
“These games are going to be thrown in when we’ve got Europe or the FAI Cup.
“I don’t know who makes these decisions.”
Under FIFA rules teams are under no obligation to release players as technically it is not an international break however an FAI rule states that if two players — or a keeper — are called up by the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland at Under-21 or senior level then a game can be called off.
Bradley was also critical of the fact that the rescheduling of games will be difficult given the cup competitions and European commitments for certain teams in the league.
Rovers had been without both Trevor Clarke and Jack Byrne for the last international break in March but opted to play the fixture against Finn Harps regardless.
“You’ve got to understand that this isn’t a proper international week where the players have to go. They should have looked at it, I don’t think it’s good enough.
“The problem is, where does the Waterford game go now? Where does it fit in?
“If you look at the schedule, there’s not a lot of room with Europe coming up and the FAI Cup to come and the League Cup still there for teams.”