Belfast Telegraph

Healy ban is upheld as IFA slap Linfield with £1,250 fine

By Alex Mills

Linfield were last night hit with a double whammy by the Irish Football Association, with manager David Healy banned for six games - and the club fined a whopping £1,250 following comments made by former chairman Jim Kerr.

Healy's season in the dugout is all but over after his appeal against a mammoth suspension was blown out of the water.

The IFA's Disciplinary Committee upheld their decision, having originally handed the Linfield manager a seven-match touchline ban - and also a £100 fine - after he was dismissed in the final seconds of the Premiership game with Portadown last month.

It was the third time in the current campaign the former Manchester United and Rangers striker was sent to the stands.

He served an automatic one-game ban against Glentoran on February 25, but the club made a stand by lodging an appeal against the remaining six, which were imposed in accordance with Article 18.9 of the IFA's Disciplinary Code.

With Linfield chasing down Crusaders at the top of the table, it means that Healy must look on from the grandstand for practically the rest of the season.

Healy will be in the dugout for Saturday’s game against Ards at Windsor Park but, with only six further Premiership games remaining — plus the Blues’ Irish Cup semi-final with Dungannon Swifts on April 1 — the former Northern Ireland ace will not be back until the final game of the campaign, when his side travel to face Cliftonville.

An IFA statement read: “Having considered written and oral submissions from the club, the Disciplinary Committee deemed the challenge of Mr Healy unsuccessful. The six-match standard suspension will commence on Monday, March 20.”

Kerr, meanwhile, was in the dock after comments he made to an official following his team’s home league defeat by Coleraine on January 3.

The statement went on: “The Committee considered, in his official capacity, Mr Kerr breached Articles 21, 27 and 33 of the Disciplinary Code and imposed the following sanctions:

•  Article 21: Two-match standard suspension upon Mr Kerr and a fine of £250 imposed on the club

•  Article 27: Five-match stadium ban for Mr Kerr and £1,000 fine imposed on the club

•  Article 33: A warning to the club regarding the future conduct of its supporters.”

Linfield were, however, let off the hook on a charge of playing ‘party songs’ over the PA system prior to the Boxing Day Big Two game against Glentoran at Windsor Park.

“The Committee were satisfied that a breach of Article 17 had occurred,” continued the statement.

“However, given the points made in mitigation and the manner in which the club had handled the matter following the incident, the Committee deemed a warning as to future conduct appropriate in the case.”

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