New Balls, Please


At the Ireland V Gibraltar match in Gibraltar at the weekend

This afternoon.

On RTÉ’s Liveline.

Irish football fan Zino Kelly responded to an article in today’s Times Ireland edition which claimed some football fans are planning to hold a protest at the Ireland V Georgia match in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin tomorrow night.

The report said the protest will involve people throwing tennis balls onto the pitch.

But Mr Kelly claimed the allegation that people planned to throw tennis balls was from the “FAI propaganda machine”.

He said:

“It [the protest] will be interesting to see but it will definitely not tennis balls. Tennis balls, you know that’s trouble. I’d say you’d have to get on to the communications’ officer in the FAI to find out why, why that’s made the papers.

“Because it certainly didn’t come from supporters. And I’ve never heard of tennis balls at a match in Ireland before. So I think that’s a matter for the FAI to answer.”

He also said:

“For the last five years they’ve [FAI] been heavy handed – especially in the South Stand of Lansdowne Road and I think this is an excuse, when all the limelight is going to be on them tomorrow night.

“I think it’s a big excuse to continue that heavy-handedness by their stewards.”

Mr Duffy pointed out bags are normally checked at games as a matter of security.

But Mr Kelly said:

“They are indeed. But it’s a bit different when you go down to the singing section on the South Stand and there is, you know, there’s heavy searches and if you compare that to if you’re going to the West Stand and East Stand, there’s no searches.

“And this all stemmed from a protest 2014, when we were playing against the USA.

“…since then it’s always been more prominent in the South Stand.”

Mr Kelly also said he won’t return to watching Ireland play a home game, until John Delaney leaves the FAI “and indeed the whole board”.

He said:

“They have so many questions to answer.”

When he was reminded that Mr Delaney stood down from his role as CEO [but will take up the new role of executive vice president], Mr Kelly said:

“He’s still on their payroll and he still has as much, as far as we know, we don’t know how much influence he has, but to me, this is a made-up role and he is still the most powerful man in the FAI.”

Listen back here

Fans to stage Aviva protest over Delaney (The Times Ireland edition)

Earlier: Strange And Unusual

Pic: Richard Barrett

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9 thoughts on “New Balls, Please

  1. Murtles

    The whole move from Chief Executive to the post of Executive Vice President (which was never there before) reminded me of The Life of Brian :

    Brian : Are you the Judean Peoples Front?”
    Reg : F–k off
    Brian : What?
    Reg : Judean Peoples Front. We’re the Peoples Front of Judea…..

  2. GiggidyGoo

    No need for bags. Just put them down the front of your trousers and see if you get searched.

  3. Dub Spot

    Love the Euro symbols. Double edged meaning.

    Does Brexit mean the Brits (England, Norn Iron, Scotland, the boring bit to the west) can’t complete in the Euros?

  4. eoin

    This has a sinister feel to it.

    It was Ciaran Kennedy who claimed in the Times Ireland today “In protest, some fans are planning to throw tennis balls on to the Aviva Stadium pitch to disrupt the game against Georgia” but there’s no source or grounds given for that statement. It is a strange thing to report, because it would precipitate delays at the match and crowd trouble. Is the Liveline caller right that it’s the “FAI propaganda machine”?

    Before writing it off as paranoia, poor Noel Rock TD said in the Sindo yesterday that the FAI was briefing against him after he called for Delaney to step down last week. Noel believes the FAI said he was only angling for free tickets.


    1. V for Frilly

      Sinister suggests a top tier war-room strategizing with lobbying firms that don’t even have a website or a postal address

      The kinda meetings that get swept for bugs and everyone has to leave their phones outside
      And everything is shredded

      This was a few of those oul’ fellas doing a bitta ShOneTeaStirring and giving some hacks some drinking money
      11 directors
      58 Council Members
      ( Former CEO in both) so that’s 68 liggers and hangers-on
      And available

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