Sunday football game expected to be probed by IFA

By Lyle McMullan

FOOTBALL chiefs in Belfast are expected to launch an investigation into a Sunday soccer game in Ballycastle this week.

Ballycastle United under-12’s met Trojans from Londonderry at the Quay Road Playing Fields in a Coleraine and District League game.

The outcome was a 2-0 defeat for Ballycastle, but it is now emerged that the game should not have been played.

According to Mr. David McVeigh of the IFA article 27 clearly states that no football can be played under the jurisdiction of the IFA on a Sunday.

Both Ballycastle under-12’s and Trojans, who are one of the best young sides in Northern Ireland, are affiliated.

Mr. McVeigh said: "We have had no official notification of the match, as yet, but if we find the rules have been breached then I’m afraid stern action will have to be taken.

"I am not in a position to make any firm comment since I deal with issues at a senior level; this would be a matter for the Junior Committee of the IFA.

"However, if the case is proved then hefty fines could be imposed."

It is not yet clear if the game was sanctioned by the Coleraine and District League and there is no suggestion that it was, however, Mr. McVeigh said:

"If it was sanctioned it would become a more serious matter."

The issue of Sunday football has emerged recently and it could only be a matter of time before the authorities allow that to happen.

Mr. McVeigh said: "This would be a matter for those attending the annual meeting of the league. At present though, no football can be played on a Sunday except for friendly games."

Dr. Maurice Laverty, who runs the under-12’s, said he had been asked to facilitate Trojans who had a heavy schedule and he obliged.