A junior soccer player in Clare is currently banned from playing in the Clare District League after he appeared to publicly criticise the league's support of John Delaney.
Delaney resigned from the association in September following a series of financial revelations in the Sunday Times that began with a mysterious €100,000 loan he gave the organisation in 2017. Nevertheless, a number of junior leagues and clubs around the country declared their support for the CEO, including the Clare District Soccer League.
In the aftermath of the revelations, the league said:
The Clare District Soccer League acknowledges the contribution John Delaney has made to our League during his time as CEO.
He brought the FAI AGM and Festival of Football to Clare in 2011 which played a big part in the promotion of the game in our country and helped a number of local business (sic) at the time.
He has attended many functions over the years and has been very helpful to the League and our clubs in the development of facilities.
Following the completion of the KOSI report which Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, forwarded to Gardaí, a local player in the league is believed to have tweeted: "Where are the Delaney defenders now Clare District League..shame on you."
Subsequently, the player in question was handed a six-month ban, which means the player in question will be out of action until June 1, 2020. It is also understood that if any other posts are made online by the player that ban could be extended to June 1, 2021.
However, in a statement to Independent.ie, the Clare District League claimed they were forced to take action in response to further comments from the player in question:
It has been brought to our attention that a story has been put out on social media that a player was suspended in our League for criticizing us.
Firstly we have no issue with criticism and everyone is entitled to their opinion. However it's not criticism when someone takes to social media and calls our committee 'shower of scumbags' and calling for 'complete reform is needed from Clare District Soccer League committee'.
The player was suspended for bringing the game into disrepute and is entitled to appeal this decision to the MFA as per rules if he is not happy with it.
It should also be pointed out while the player in question is a registered player in our League he has not played all season with that club and the person that started the petition plays on his team and would be well aware of this.