Articles on Cork Clubs Withdrawal from National Cup

 

http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/sfai-row-deepens-as-cork-clubs-pull-out-29990841.html

http://punditarena.com/2014/02/08/schoolboy-league-infighting-creating-lot-collateral-damage/

 

Schedule of Events leading up to the withdrawal of eleven Cork Clubs from SFAI National Cup competitions 2013 / 14

  • August 24th 2013: having received entries from Clubs all over the country, the SFAI  (The Schoolboy Football Association Of Ireland) divided the entries into their eight regions before making the draw for the qualifying rounds in each region. While there is 32 individual leagues in the country these are combined into eight regions for the purpose of the draw with for example the Cork region comprised of  the West Cork League, the Cork Schoolboys League and the East Cork, West Waterford League. The draw is posted on the SFAI website by region. Qualifiers then emerge from each region for the last 32 which is an open draw and you can draw teams from any part of the country.
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  • Qualifying games generally (depending on the number of teams in your region) amount to approx. four rounds in each region and the SFAI set down dates when the individual round had to be complete by. There is a set number of qualifying positions in the last 32 for each region so for example in the Cork region you have five qualifiers while in the DDSL you have four qualifiers going through to the last 32. The number of qualifiers in any region is determined by the number of entries in your region relative to the overall entry. The five qualifiers from the Cork region and all other regions at each age group were to be finalized prior to the draw for the last 32 on December 14th.

 

  • Seven of the eight regions scheduled and played their qualifying games and had their qualifiers available for the last 32 draw on December 14th.

 

  • One region, the Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL) did not play one single qualifying match presumably because of an ongoing dispute with the SFAI. (Only the DDSL could confirm this). They were asked on several occasions by the SFAI to play their regional games but refused to do so.

 

  • On December 14th 28 of the 32 qualifiers at each age group were known but there was no qualifiers from the DDSL.

 

  • The FAI had now become embroiled in this issue and on December 5th issued a Directive instructing the SFAI to include four slots for the DDSL teams in the draw for the last 32 on December 14th

 

  • On December 14th at a SFAI Council meeting in Wexford, the SFAI delegates vote 30 votes to two to exclude the DDSL from the last 32 draw so the draw takes place with 28 teams in each draw and 4 teams getting a bye to the last sixteen. The draw was posted on the SFAI website and as normal managers, and players from all over the country look at the draws they have got with a great sense of anticipation and excitement.

 

  • On December 19th The FAI declare the draw of Dec 14th to be null and void and issued a Directive to the SFAI saying a second draw must take place  with slots for DDSL Clubs.

 

  • On January 8th the FAI gives permission to the DDSL to hold their own independent regional draw thereby replacing the original draw for the DDSL region drawn on August 24th. Two observers from the Board of the FAI, Donal Conway and Michael Cody attend the draw as observers. The draw is a seeded draw which is clearly in breach of Rule 2 in the SFAI rule book. Not only have the FAI allowed the DDSL to do their own draw but they have also allowed the DDSL to seed the draw.  They have by their actions clearly undermined the authority of the SFAI as well as breaking rules. The DDSL draw of January 8th is not displayed on their website until Monday Jan 13th

 

  • On January 9th the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the SFAI are invited to meet with John Delaney CEO of the FAI, at this meeting John Delaney outlines that there will be serious ramifications (As per SFAI Chairman on Jan 11th at Council meeting) for the SFAI unless they comply with the FAI Directive and organize a new and second draw for the last 32 including slots for the 4 DDSL qualifiers to come from the new DDSL draw.

 

  • On January 11th at an SFAI Council meeting in Dublin the league delegates representing schoolboys Leagues from all over the country are informed by the SFAI Chairman that if they don’t comply with the FAI Directive and organize a second draw there would be serious ramifications for the organization which delegates understand to mean the future of the SFAI as an organization could be in jeopardy. Under protest the delegates vote by 24 votes to 8 to reverse the decision of Dec 14th and a new draw is to take place on Jan 23rd

 

  • On January 13th the DDSL draw is revealed on their website and is found to be seeded in breech of Rule 2 in  SFAI Rule book

 

  • On Jan 16th, In a statement signed by the Chairman of the league Peter Connolly, The Cork Schoolboys League announce that they are withdrawing all cooperation relating to the running of this season’s SFAI Cup competition. They will not arrange matches, appoint referees or have anything to do with the competition. In their statement they state that the competition is clearly biased in favour of one region.

 

  • On January 22nd the 12 Cork Schoolboys League Clubs with teams still involved in this season’s National Cup completion meet and forward a letter to the SFAI and the FAI seeking clarification as to why a second draw was necessary and why one region (DDSL) was allowed to complete their own seeded and independent draw.

 

 http://www.collegecorinthians.com/cork-schoolboys-league-clubs-seek-clarification-sfai/#more-1287

 

  • On January 23rd the draw for the last 32 was completed for a second time including 4 slots for the DDSL qualifiers

 

  • Having not received a reply from either the SFAI or the FAI to their original letter the Cork Clubs sent a second letter to the SFAI and FAI on Jan 30th again seeking clarification of the issues raised in their original letter and also outlining the intention of the Cork Clubs (24 teams) to withdraw from the National Cups unless the competition reverted to the original draw.

 

http://www.collegecorinthians.com/cork-clubs-look-original-draw-re-iinstated/#more-1302

 

  • On January 31st the Clubs received an E Mail from General Secretary of the SFAI Martin O’ Hanlon outlining that clarification of our queries needed to come from the FAI. He also said he needed to know by 5pm on Monday Fen 3rd whether the 24 Cork teams were going to lay in this season’s National Cup competitions
  • On Wednesday February 5th, representatives from the Cork Clubs met in Abbotstown with FAI Chief Executive John Delaney and FAI Board members Donal Conway and Michael Cody. Following the meeting the representatives from the Cork Clubs reported back to the eleven Cork Clubs the following night Thursday February 6th.

 

  • The Club representatives did not feel that a satisfactory explanation was received from the FAI as to why one region the DDSL was allowed to hold their own independent seeded draw in contrast to the other seven regions. This clearly created a bias in the competition in favour of one region and as a result the Cork Clubs decided they could not continue to play in this season’s completion (See statement issued)

 

http://www.collegecorinthians.com/cork-schoolboys-league-teams-withdraw-national-cups/#more-1312

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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