IRELAND FOOTBALLER Paul McShane was subjected to verbal abuse 'on the grounds of his nationality' by a fellow pro, who has now subsequently been handed an eight-match ban.
Accrington Stanley midfielder Sam Finley admitting launching a racist tirade at Rochdale's McShane on the grounds of his Irish background during a League One fixture between the two clubs on New Year's Day.
Finley was accused of labelling the Irishman a 'p****', a derogatory term for Irish traveller, and the Accrington man has admitted that he referenced McShane's nationality while insulting him.
"I did make reference that Paul should go back to his caravan and that I was referencing his being Irish in doing so," admitted Finley.
McShane made an official complaint of racial abuse to the match referee, saying that Finley had called him a 'p****' in the 23rd minute of the game, which none of the officials had heard.
The referee, Tom Nield, conducted an interview with the player, with his manager present, and he denied the allegations, claiming only to have used the word "p***k" and not "p****".
The FA conducted their own interview on January 15th and Finley claimed to have said: "F**k off back to your caravan you p***k".
It is revealed in the FA's official report, released on Tuesday, that on foot of being formally charged, Finley admitted to using the word 'p****'.
The punishment for Finley, set out by a Football Association Regulatory Commission, also includes an £850 (€965) fine plus "face-to-face education".
An FA statement read: "The Accrington Stanley FC midfielder admitted using abusive or insulting language during the 23rd minute of an EFL League One fixture against Rochdale AFC on Wednesday 1 January 2020. The language used was contrary to FA Rule E3(1) and constituted an 'aggravated breach', which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference to nationality."
McShane has 33 caps for the Republic of Ireland international, making his debut in 2006. The 34-year-old centre-back came through the Manchester United academy before playing for West Brom, Sunderland, Hull City and Reading.
He joined League One Rochdale last summer, where he is managed by Cork native Brian Barry-Murphy.
Abuse of Irish star is nothing new in the Football League, with Ireland winger James McClean being subjected to verbal attacks from supporters on numerous occasions over the last few years.