The joy and celebration that came with two Limerick sides reaching the semi finals of the FAI Junior Cup turned sour this week when both Regional United and Aisling Annacotty (who were drawn to meet each other in the semi final) faced the prospect of being dumped out of the competition on objections by their defeated opponents.
The hearings on Thursday evening last resulted in Regional Utd being removed from the competition with Sheriff YC being reinstated. There was better news for Aisling as Westport’s objection was dismissed.
Sheriff objected on the grounds that Regional’s Sosuke Kimura did not have international clearance and the FAI Junior Councils hearing agreed with them.
The ruling in the FAI Rule book reads as follows;
RULE 22. PLAYERS ENTERING & LEAVING THE AREA OF JURISDICTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
1. Any Player aged ten (10) years or over wishing to be registered within the jurisdiction of the Football Association of Ireland having last been registered within another jurisdiction must obtain an International Transfer Certificate.
Now, despite the fact that Kimura played with Aisling in the previous season (i.e in the same jurisdiction) Regional were somehow deemed to have erred.
If you follow the logic of this decision then you open a Pandora’s box.
Regional are being punished because the player in question did not get an international clearance a year earlier when playing with a different club.
How far back does your responsibility lie? Any new signing from another local side opens your club to the possibility of illegality if same player did not get international clearance, after playing on a trip Australia or summer trip to the USA for example.
The hope for Regional is that the Senior body will show more sense.
Aisling’s hearing lasted only minutes before the Mayo club’s spurious objection was rightfully kicked out.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the whole encounter for me was the reaction of some people on social media.
Disappointment at Regional’s disqualification was understandable but the need to blame somebody turned vitriolic.
Without proof, a number of local people/clubs were blamed for giving Sheriff and Westport the information that led to the objections resulting in some nasty and very unfair comment.
It was sad how many people wanted to believe the false rhetoric.
For the record, I am in contact with every club to different degrees and I have yet to hear anything but praise and delight for both Regional and Aisling’s FAI progress. I have seen no sign of this purported jealousy that’s alleged to exist between clubs. All right minded people support whichever Limerick team progresses in the National competition.
I was in Dooradoyle for the Regional game and ten minutes before kick off the topic of conversation among all the Sheriff lads was regarding the player who was flown back for the tie.
Many times after a Limerick team have been knocked out of cup I have had various enquiries as they probed any way of getting back into the competition.
Sheriff are no different and on the way home in the bus what do you think their obvious starting point was?
Kimura, over the last two seasons, played in victories over most Premier teams locally and I imagine if someone had all this info we might have seen an objection before now!
In Aisling’s case the objection was re Aaron Murphy’s 2 game suspension.
Again no one needed to Inform the opposition as the information was freely available on website and Westport are well versed in the art of objections.
Hopefully attention will now turn back to supporting Regional’s appeal and if successful we can enjoy an all Limerick semi-final before getting behind the winners in the FAI Junior Cup final.