Football

Didi Hamann Blames The FAI Over James McClean's UEFA Charge

Didi Hamann Blames The FAI Over James McClean's UEFA Charge

The news arrived to us today that James McClean and Martin O'Neill are facing fines from UEFA as a result of comments made about referee David Fernández Borbalán after Ireland's draw with Austria on June 11th. The referee disallowed a Shane Duffy goal, and also waved away an Irish penalty appeal amid a chaotic final few minutes at the Aviva.

After the game, James McClean and Martin O'Neill were both critical of the referee, with James McClean referring to him as Austria's "12th man" in his post-match interview with RTE's Tony O'Donoghue. Martin O'Neill said after the game that:

I'm delighted to have got the equaliser and I thought that we had a legitimate, good goal disallowed. The referee wasn't totally to blame for our performance in the first half, but I thought he was very poor in the game.Considering he was letting things go during the course of the game - that's fine, I like referees who let things go -- but he seemed to be penalising us a great deal.

It was confirmed to Paul Rowan of the Times Ireland earlier today that UEFA are investigating the comments, with fines for both McClean and O'Neill the likely outcome.

This issue was debated on RTE's live coverage of Russia Vs Portugal in the Confederations Cup, with Damien Duff and Richie Sadlier both agreeing that there was little harm in the comments, with Sadlier pointing out that O'Neill didn't say anything that questioned the referee's impartiality.

Didi Hamann disagreed, however, in relation to James McClean. Hamann says that "I’m not sure if a fine is sufficient for the comment he has made", before going onto question why the FAI sent out McClean to do the interview, given his impassioned enraged disposition immediately after full-time.

Being part of FIFA, you have to do these interviews. The question I would ask is, I don’t understand the people in charge of the Irish FA, how they can send James McClean, who we know is a hot head, to an interview 20 seconds after the final whistle when emotions are running high.

He got the key decisions right, I thought the referee had a decent game. You can't send James McClean in that situation.

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Peter Collins did point out that RTE did request McClean, and says that "we" (referring to RTE) would not consider McClean to be a hot-head in interview situations.

I think he will get a ban. He said the "12th man", he questioned the referee's integrity, claiming that the referee performed as if he had an Austrian shirt. You can't say it. Full stop.

Good on the Irish FA to give us [McClean] after we requested him, but there comes a time when you need to protect

Damien Duff had a supremely cool reaction, by the way:

Hopefully nothing will come of it, it’s just a fine and let big JD pay for it.

JD being John Delaney.

Watch it all below.

See Also: Arsene Wenger Names 3 Arsenal Games From The Past He Wished Had VAR

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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