NORTH LONDON Gaelic football club Éire Óg have released a statement explaining how they have forfeited their place in the county’s Junior Football Championship.
The club were due to play Moindearg in a second replay of the semi-final this Sunday, but now that second replay will not take place and Moindearg will face Thomas McCurtains in the decider.
Moindearg had defeated Éire Óg last weekend but made an error where one of their players was subbed after receiving a black card. The player in question had earlier been showed a yellow card and should not have been replaced. As a result, the London County Board had ruled that the game had been replayed.
However, Éire Óg have now realised a mistake of their own and have released the following statement:
“Our club discovered late yesterday, having sought clarification from the county board, that we fielded an ineligible player in the first London Junior Championship semi-final game against Moindearg on Sunday, August 17.
“This was entirely inadvertent and wholly innocent on the part of the club and the player.
“We transferred a player from his home football club in Ireland. He had not and did not play in the football championship in his home county for that club. He had, however, played hurling championship there with a separately affiliated hurling club.
“Like many clubs here, we have dual players who play for separately affiliated hurling and football clubs in London and presumed this would apply to separately affiliated hurling and football clubs in different counties. It appears that it not the case and that we interpreted the rule incorrectly.
“As soon as we became aware of this, we resolved to inform the county board immediately. The county board were unaware of it until we informed them and no complaint by any other team had been made.
“We acted entirely voluntarily and in the interests of honesty and integrity, in keeping with the ethos of the GAA which we as a club value above all else.
“We realised that this would mean we were effectively forfeiting our place in the competition, and therefore we acted quickly to ensure that this could be dealt so that the London Junior County Final could go ahead this weekend.
“Our expectation is that we will be subject to the penalties set out in the GAA Rules and Constitution, however unfair or disproportionate they seem in this context.
“We wish both Moindearg and Tomás McCurtains the best of luck in the London Junior Football Championship Final this weekend.”