The league opener of the 2022 league of Ireland premier division clash between Shamrock Rovers and UCD AFC will now take place in front of fans after a successful appeal by Rovers. The clash will take place on the 18th of February in Tallaght Stadium with both home and travelling fans.
A previous decision was made to impose a stadium ban on the fixture after an incident in a Shamrock Rovers game last season. On the 5th of November 2021, a clash in Tallaght between Rovers and Waterford was delayed after fireworks were set off by the travelling hoops fans which ended up on the pitch and resulted in an injury to a Rovers fan.
After the incident, Shamrock Rovers ‘unequivocally condemned” the action of the “so-called supporters’ and said they would be issuing indefinite bans from Tallaght Stadium to the people involved.
The FAI imposed a stadium ban which was swiftly criticised by the Tallaght side. Rovers manager Stephen Bradley said the ban was ‘really harsh.’ He added that ‘on the whole, it’s dangerous grounds in terms of going forward, you could have a stadium ban every second week for different things.’
Today, the decision was reversed much to the relief of both sets of fans. A statement from the FAI said ‘The Football Association of Ireland can confirm the conclusion to the investigation around a fireworks incident at the Waterford FC v Shamrock Rovers FC fixture on November 5th last.’
‘This matter has progressed through the Association’s judicial process and an independent Appeal Committee has now ruled that the original decision to play the Shamrock Rovers FC v UCD AFC game on February 18th behind closed doors be set aside and the fine imposed on Shamrock Rovers FC be increased to €5,000.’
Conor Paterson – Co-Editor