Belfast Telegraph

James McClean and Martin O'Neill to be investigated after referee rant

 

By Adam McKendry

Martin O'Neill and James McClean are at risk of missing the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia in September after Fifa opened disciplinary proceedings against them.

Football's governing body are investigating comments made by the pair after their 1-1 draw with Austria at the start of the month.

Neither were happy with the performance of referee David Fernandez Borbalan, who ruled out a late Shane Duffy winner which the hosts were adamant should have stood.

The Republic were also incensed when Jonathan Walters was seemingly fouled in the box by defender Aleksandar Dragovic.

Londonderry man McClean complained live on the radio after the game that Austria had a "12th man", while manager O'Neill agreed, describing Borbalan as "very poor".

Should Fifa find them guilty of inflammatory comments then game bans could follow, which would likely rule them out of the two qualifiers in September, along with potential financial penalties as well.

The Republic are currently four points clear of Austria at the top of qualifying Group D with four games to play.

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