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League Of Ireland Players Warned Not To Celebrate In Front Of Opposition Fans

League Of Ireland Players Warned Not To Celebrate In Front Of Opposition Fans
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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League of Ireland players have received advice from the Players Football Association of Ireland warning them against celebrating goals in front of opposition fans.

In light of recent incidents which reportedly saw players struck by missiles from stands packed with opposition fans, the PFAI have recommended that players stay on the field of play and avoid riling up opposition fans after scoring a goal.

Speaking to Balls and the Irish media this week, Shelbourne man Luke Byrne said that he felt it was not a "big" issue, and pointed out that much of the animosity comes from the fans themselves.

League of Ireland: Shels man Luke Byrne comments on contentious celebrations

The PFA of Ireland have recommended to players in the League of Ireland to avoid riling up opposition fans with their goal celebrations, in a letter which suggested that several players have been hit by missiles thrown from the stands this season.


The letter from the PFAI was written in the name of players' safety, and said:

For your own safety, please refrain from leaving the field of play to celebrate goals or any other incidents in front of opposition supporters.

We are aware of a number of incidents where missiles have been thrown at players and we are pushing the FAI to take measures to eradicate such incidents.

We understand that you may naturally find yourself near opposition supporters in the course of scoring and celebrating a goal. But we ask that you at least try to avoid leaving the field of play in such instances.

The PFAI also assured players that they are working with the FAI to ensure that player safety is prioritised going forward, and said that incidents such as these must be reported.

League of Ireland

12 May 2023; Derry City supporters celebrate after their side's victory in the League of Ireland SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division match between Bohemians and Derry City at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Speaking to Balls.ie on Tuesday, Shelbourne defender Luke Byrne noted that the role of the fans in such animosity can't be underplayed, but said that some players can, admittedly, get caught up in the emotion of the moment:

I don't score goals so it's probably not something that's at the forefront of my mind!

It's obviously something to be aware of. Personally, I've never really seen any issues between fans and players - that's not to say there haven't been, I just can't remember being involved in a game that there's been any.

Obviously the emotion takes over a lot of the time when you score a goal. If you happen to score at the goal near the away end, some players might wind up opposition fans. Those fans are winding up players all night, it's just part of the game. I don't think it's a big issue.

The recommendations come a few weeks after an FAI campaign was launched against the use of pyrotechnics in League of Ireland stadiums, and the PFAI letter recommended that players stay away from pyro if it ends up on the pitch.


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