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Monday 10 December 2018

No ban, just a warning for O'Neill

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile

It's just a slap on the wrist, but no suspension, for Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and James McClean from FIFA following comments they made after Ireland's World Cup draw with Austria last month.

There was some concern that FIFA would take action in the form of a fine or even a ban for the pair after they were critical of decisions made by the Spanish referee during that 1-1 draw in Dublin. But the world body will take no further action, a relief to O'Neill and winger McClean.

"The Football Association of Ireland has accepted FIFA's decision to issue a reprimand to both Martin O'Neill and James McClean following disciplinary proceedings," an FAI statement last night said.

"FIFA launched their inquiry following comments made by Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and midfielder James McClean in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw with Austria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on June 11.

"The ruling by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee came following a breach of Article 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code and Article 4 of the Regulations of the 2018 FIFA World Cup for 'unsporting behaviour'."

The most recent punishment meted out to an Ireland boss was when Steve Staunton was given a one-game touchline ban for kicking a bottle of water during the opening game of the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign in Germany.

Meanwhile, Preston have awarded new Ireland cap Alan Browne with a new three-year deal, keeping him at Deepdale until 2020. "It is great for me to know that the club is putting that confidence in me and hopefully I can return that to the club," says Browne.

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