Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Soccer can learn from GAA's response

Letters to the editor should be sent to: 124-144 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB. E-mail: writeback@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

The rapid and effective response by all Gaels (from President Nicky Brennan downwards), and particularly the Fermanagh County Board, to the alleged sectarian abuse of Darren Graham, is worthy of the highest commendation and, hopefully, Darren will be back shortly swinging the sliothar.

I feel that other local sports could learn from this, particularly soccer authorities and supporters.

When Neil Lennon was on the receiving end of a much more serious form of sectarian abuse, a death threat, he felt that the support forthcoming from the IFA was totally inadequate (blaming it as they did on a crank with 20p) and he was lost, as a consequence, to the Northern Ireland international side permanently.

I feel there should be a focussed campaign across all sports to eradicate sectarianism by recognising fully the extent of the problem in the first place before putting in place effective policies and procedures to counteract it.

It is with considerable pride that we witness the GAA giving the lead in this issue. Hopefully others will follow.

Tony Fearon, Poyntzpass

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