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Irish Fans Left "Shocked And Angered" By "Heavy Handed Treatment" At Ireland Vs USA

By PJ Browne
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The You Boys in Green Ireland supporters group say that Irish fans have been left "shocked and angered" following the treatment of some attendees at last's night win against USA.


Fans had planned a peaceful protest following on from the debacle some fans went through trying to get tickets for the game against Scotland at Celtic Park.

Here's the statement released by YBIG.

Republic of Ireland fans have been left shocked and angered by the heavy handed treatment of stadium personnel at last night’s game. This included the removal of banners as well the intimidation and manhandling of supporters resulting a completely unnecessary escalation of tension.

A number of supporters had organised a protest at the game in the light of recent ticketing issues, which had brought many of the long running frustrations with the FAI to the surface once again. YBIG, as a online community, did not take a stated position on a protest. We are aware of other fans who boycotted the game, and several hundred supporters have threatened not to renew season tickets until the FAI engage in a process of real change.

Supporters were stunned to be welcomed upon arrival at the game by such a heavy security presence in the South Stand Lower This included a number of uniformed members of An Garda Síochána. It must be noted that the section had never been involved in any behaviour that attracted Garda presence in the past. This level of security was specifically targeted at this section, and was not replicated around the ground.

The FAI confiscated banners before and during the game, despite these being fully compliant with all ground rules and regulations. In addition, in an attempt to remove banners being displayed in Section 114, stewards manhandled supporters. In no way do banners such as “#supportdoesntwork” and “Fans After Income” create any risk to crowd safety.

Supporters presented copies of the ground regulations to stadium personnel and asked for clarification on which regulations were being breached. The response was either silence or tearing up of the regulations in the faces of supporters. Supporters are currently collecting video and photographic evidence of these events and are considering formal complaints over the behaviour of stadium personnel and Gardai in this matter.

It was interesting to note that the CEO felt able to mention the ticketing fiasco in passing in his programme notes last night, but has yet to respond to the ten questions posed to him. What have the FAI got to hide, and why did they feel the need to spectacularly over react to a peaceful and good natured protest?

Supporters have posed specific and reasonable questions for the Chief Executive to answer. The response? Silence and an attempt to crush any public form of protest. This is not the first time that the FAI have attempted to stop fans protesting at games, either at League of Ireland level or international games.

The video above shows some of the scenes from last night.

As you can see from this tweet by Aidan Fitzmaurice, the singing section of the ground certainly was subject to more policing than other parts of the stadium.



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