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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 2 September, 2014

Armagh back down from Portlaoise ‘racism’ allegations

The Armagh County Board has agreed that Monday’s strongly-worded statement was not an accurate reflection of the row in O’Moore Park.

Armagh Assistant manager Paul Grimley confronts referee Michael Duffy after Sunday's game.
Armagh Assistant manager Paul Grimley confronts referee Michael Duffy after Sunday's game.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

THE ARMAGH COUNTY BOARD has this evening backed down from allegations that their players were racially abused during their NFL Division 1 match against Laois.

Representatives from both counties met this evening to discuss the fall-out from Sunday’s row in O’Moore Park, after Armagh issued a statement on Monday which suggested that there was a “racist” element to a flashpoint involving captain Ciarán McKeever.

McKeever was shown a straight red card by referee Michael Duffy in the tunnel at half-time following a clash with a Laois player. In their statement, the Orchard county board said that ”the chanting of ‘God Save the Queen’ and malign taunting of ‘British Bastard’ has no place either on or off the field of play.”

Laois denied the claims and although both counties now acknowledge that there were “inappropriate verbal exchanges” between players, Armagh have agreed that Monday’s statement was not an accurate reflection of Sunday’s incident.

Both sides have pledged to address the behaviour with their respective panels.

A joint statement issued by both counties through the GAA this evening read as follows:

“A meeting of representatives of Armagh and Laois County Boards took place today to discuss last Sunday’s Allianz League Football game in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.

“It was agreed that allegations made by Armagh County Board in their statement do not accurately reflect what occurred in O’Moore Park.

“It is acknowledged by both Boards that inappropriate verbal exchanges took place between players during the game and this will be addressed with our respective panels.

“Both Laois and Armagh are committed to the playing of our games in the best possible spirit and look forward to the continuation of a keen, sporting rivalry.”

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