Friday 20 September 2019

Club chairman hopes GAA will act to tackle problem

GER HALLIGAN, the chairman of Lee Chin's football club, the Sarsfields hopes the GAA will now bring in regulations to stamp out racism altogether.

'Once there is a problem there, it will always be a problem until you tackle it,' said Ger who attended the match at which Lee was racially abused but did not actually hear the comments.

The incident which became the subject of a GAA investigation happened during a Sarsfields v Duffry Rovers senior football match played under floodlights in Bree on April 20.

Sarsfields won by four points with multi- talented Chin scoring two goals to clinch the victory. 'I was at the match but I didn't hear what was said. I was in the crowd,' said Ger.

An inquiry was carried out after the referee Brendan Martin outlined the racial taunts in his match report.

Two Duffry Rovers players were held accountable and suspended for two months. 'We are happy with how it was dealt with,' said Ger. 'And in fairness to Duffry Rovers, they were brilliant in dealing with it.'

'We were in contact with the other club and in the conversations we had with them, they were super.'

The Sarsfields chairman said verbal exchanges between opposing players are part and parcel of sport but racial abuse cannot be tolerated.

'I played the game all my life. Loads of things go on on the pitch.'

'Loads of things are said to people and that will probably continue to go on.'

He agreed that the better a player is, the more likely they are to be a target of attack on the field.

' There are different forms that it can take. It's probably an issue for any sport.'

'Hopefully now they'll bring in rules and regulations to cut it out completely.'

'It's not acceptable for a player to have to endure racist comments,' said Ger.

The chairman described Lee Chin as an exceptional player.

Lee joined the Sarsfields earlier this year having played with St. Mary's of Maudlintow since he was a young boy.

'We were delighted to get a player of his calibre into the club.'

'We knew we were getting a special player. He has really excelled in all his games on the field this year.'

The young Wexfordman has a number of important games pending, including the Leinster football semifinal against Dublin next Sunday.

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