Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Cookstown waiting to learn sanction

Owen Mulligan has alleged sectarian abuse

All-Ireland Intermediate club football champions Cookstown Fr Rocks are bracing themselves for heavy sanctions from the Central Competitions Control Committee.

It is expected that the sanctions will be confirmed within the next 48 hours and could entail severe financial penalties.

This follows an investigation by the committee into claims of spitting and sectarian abuse which emerged in the aftermath of the team's All-Ireland final victory over Kerry and Munster champions Finuge.

Kerry star Paul Galvin's allegation that he was spat on during the game brought a sharp retort from Cookstown's Owen Mulligan that the Finuge side had been guilty of sectarian comments during the match.

"I would like to enlighten people of the sick and vile sectarian abuse comments that were made only I am a firm believer in that what happens on the pitch stays on the pitch," Mulligan wrote on a social network site.

Galvin later "utterly and unequivocally" distanced himself from such claims made against his side.

While the CCCC investigation has been described as "detailed" it is not known if it will be able to act on specific issues of spitting or verbal sectarian abuse as it is understood that these have been difficult to prove.

But both clubs look certain to be punished for bringing the game into disrepute.

Last year Tyrone club Derrytresk and Kerry side Dromid Pearses also felt the full weight of the Central Competitions Control Committee's disciplinary measures, following violent scenes which marred their All-Ireland club junior football championship semi-final meeting.

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