The Week: Irish News Highlight 19th Dec 2016

Week Irish News Highlight 19th Dec 2016
25 March 2016; The Republic of Ireland team during the National Anthem. Picture credit:David Maher / SPORTSFILE

FIFA fine Ireland’s football association for 1916 emblem

The football association of Ireland (FAI) have been fined CHF 5,000 (£3,935) because they used a logo on their jerseys to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The emblem was worn by Martin O’Neill’s team in March when they played Switzerland in a friendly.

“FIFA can today confirm sanctions imposed on several football associations for incidents during 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches and international friendlies,” reads a FIFA statement. “The Republic of Ireland has been fined CHF 5,000 for the display of a political symbol on the shirt during the Republic of Ireland v Switzerland friendly match.

“The Disciplinary Committee has taken these decisions after analysing all of the specific circumstances of each case.

Week Irish News Highlight 19th Dec 2016

“With these decisions, it is not our intention to judge or question specific commemorations as we fully respect the significance of such moments in the respective countries, each one of them with its own history and background.

“However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”

England’s FA were fined 45,000 Swiss francs (£35,441) for when their team wore poppy tributes to British war dead during a November game against Scotland. Scotland were fined 20,000 Swiss francs (£15,751), while Wales and Northern Ireland were given 20,000 and 15,000 (£11,812) Swiss franc fines for their own tributes.

Week Irish News Highlight 19th Dec 2016
16 August 2016; Michael Conlan of Ireland following his Bantamweight Quarterfinal bout with Vladimir Nikitin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Irish boxer hit with maximum fine for ‘cheat’ outburst

Olympian boxer Michael Conlan has been fined €9,300 (£7,823) by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) after comments he made after being knocked out of Rio 2016.

The 25-year-old lost to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia, but was deemed to have been the better fighter by pundits and fans alike. Nikitin was not able to partake in his next fight in the semi-final because of the injuries he had inflicted on him by the Belfast fighter.

Afterwards Conlan said that the AIBA were ‘cheating ba*****s’ who were ‘paying everybody’.

“They’re known for being cheats and they’ll always be cheats. Amateur boxing stinks from the core to the top… today just showed how corrupt this organisation is,” he told RTE afterwards.

Conlan has turned professional now and is likely to make his debut in New York on St Patrick’s weekend.

Week Irish News Highlight 19th Dec 2016

€4m stolen from Meath County Council by Hong Kong hackers

Hackers from Hong Kong have failed to steal over €4 million (£3.36m) from Meath County Council in an online cyber attack. On October 28 a total of €4.3million was taken from their bank and transferred abroad.

The plan was detected before completed, and the council have since obtained a court order to freeze the funds and is applying for a further order to get the money back.

“The Council’s bank was alerted and the matter was reported to the gardaí who provided assistance through the Financial Intelligence Unit in the National Economic Crime Bureau and through Interpol. The funds have been secured and the matter is now the subject of criminal investigations and legal proceedings in Ireland and abroad,” the council said in a statement.

“In light of the ongoing investigations, the Council has been advised to make no further comment on the matter at this time.” Sinn Féin councillor Darren O’Rourke said the attempt was “shocking”.

“The sum involved, over €4.3m, is staggering. It really is a huge relief to the council and indeed to everyone associated or who uses the services of Meath County Council that this issue was caught before it was too late.

“The council’s checks and balances kicked in and served them well on this occasion. Everyone should be very grateful for that.”

Week Irish News Highlight 19th Dec 2016
2 August 2016; Pat Hickey. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland’s former Olympics boss home from jail

The former head of the Olympic Council of Ireland has arrived back in Ireland, five months after he first left for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 71-year-old had been arrested after being caught up in a ticket-touting scandal, which he denies any wrongdoing for. In a statement that was released to the Irish Times newspaper he said it had been ‘an extremely traumatic few months’ for him and his family and that he was ‘totally innocent of all charges’.

“I am delighted to be home and to be able to spend Christmas with my family, my wife, Sylviane, my four children, my five grandchildren and hopefully the safe arrival of two more grandchildren in January,” he said.

He also mentioned that he would not be trying to get re-elected to his position as president of the organisation in the New Year after stepping down when the controversy first hit the news.

He left Brazil on Thursday the 15th of December after the International Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) put up a €410,000 (£344,885) bond on the condition that he returns to Brazil to face the charges.


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