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Northern Ireland v Romania Euro 2016 qualifier: UEFA opens proceedings against IFA over firework that hit photographer in Windsor Park

By Claire Cromie

Published 15/06/2015

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the IFA after a press photographer was struck by a firework during Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifier at Windsor Park.

Darren Kidd was working from the touchline at the Northern Ireland v Romania match on Saturday when a firecracker struck him.

Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes under his seat during the Euro 2016 Qualifier at Windsor Park in Belfast on Saturday
Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes under his seat during the Euro 2016 Qualifier at Windsor Park in Belfast on Saturday

Mr Kidd said: "It hit me on the back of the neck just at my collar and then exploded as it fell. It burnt me on my neck and under my arm. It's pretty painful."

He was given medical attention at the scene, but Mr Kidd said he couldn't hear for some time and thinks he may have burst an eardrum.

In the footage above, the projectile can be seen exploding on the ground.

The incident was included in the UEFA delegate's report and the governing body's website confirmed on Monday it was being investigated.

The Polish FA were fined £18,000 after supporters released fireworks during their qualifier earlier this year, and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Federation have also been cited this week for a similar offence.

But Irish Football Association president Jim Shaw does not believe there will be serious sanctions.

"I am aware of the incident, but I'm not sure what part of the ground the firework came from," he said.

"I spoke to the Uefa delegate after the game as a matter of course and he said there were no problems. That's not to say that he wasn't aware of the firework.

Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes
Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes

"If he was aware of it then it will have to be reported, but for there to be a punishment he would have to be sure of what part of the stadium it came from.

"He will have sent his report online directly to the Uefa control and disciplinary body after the match.

"They will then go through it and if there is a charge to be made we would know about it within the week.

"If it was discovered to have come from the Romanian crowd then the charge would be on them.

"If there is a charge I wouldn't expect the punishment to be significant, especially for a first incident of this kind.

"We have a good record and it may even be a case of being given a warning rather than a fine.

"The only other incident we have had was when a linesman was hit by a coin thrown from the stand against Poland and that was six years ago.

"Overall, things went well. The stadium looked great and the atmosphere was very good."

Read more:

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Euro 2016: No Kop, but same old raucous atmosphere  

Euro 2016: Romania were there for the taking: Chris Brunt  

Euro 2016: Carroll message was big boost for Michael McGovern 

Euro 2016: Blame will lie with players if Northern Ireland slip up now: Lafferty  

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland have date with destiny  

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland will hold our nerve, says Michael O'Neill  

Euro 2016: Don't worry, be happy, we will have the fairytale finish after all  

Northern Ireland 0 - 0 Romania: Crunch Euro qualifier ends in stalemate

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