Three footballers receive lengthy bans following attack on referee 1 year ago

Three footballers receive lengthy bans following attack on referee

The Combined Counties Football League has announced that three Mullingar Town players will face 40-year-bans from the sport in Ireland for assaulting a referee in Westmeath earlier this month.

Referee Daniel Sweeney had to undergo facial surgery after an attack following a recent match between Horseleap United and Mullingar Town.

Paul O’Brien, President of the Irish Soccer Referee Society met with FAI chief John Delaney to discuss the matter last week and on Friday the Combined Counties Football League suspended those involved from all football activity in the FAI's jurisdiction for the next 40 years.

The CCFL said in a statement:

"The recent assault on CCFL match official Daniel Sweeney resulted in local, national and international headlines. The vicious, unprecedented level of violence directed at Daniel was unprovoked, unwarranted and unjustifiable."

"The incidents that occurred at the end and in the aftermath of this football game are not representative of the magnificent work undertaken by the volunteers in the administration, playing and refereeing of association football in our league or across any of the great leagues under the jurisdiction of the FAI."

A Facebook page has also been set up by Mullingar Town to raise funds to support Sweeney on his recovery.

The CCFL claim that Sweeney is currently out of work whilst receiving further treatment and that a GoFundMe page has been established to aide his recovery.

O'Brien spoke to Sean O'Rourke on Morning Ireland after the initial assault earlier this month and advocated for a lifetime suspension for those responsible.

"I’m refereeing 24 years and that’s the most serious assault I’ve seen," O'Brien told RTE.

"This kind of vicious assault is not the norm. But in cases like that, we have to be looking at life (suspension) for people that assaulted Daniel the way they did."