Derry City boss calls for greater clarity on FAI rules after St Pat’s vs Shels match rescheduled

RUAIDHRI Higgins has called for greater clarity on the FAI’s ‘strange’ decision to reschedule St Patrick’s Athletic’s league fixture against Shelbourne rather than handing Damien Duff’s side a walkover.

It’s a decision which could potentially have ramifications for Derry City who are intent on finishing in the automatic European qualification places.In fact the FAI’s Independent Disciplinary Committee’s decisions to award Dundalk a 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers, who fielded an ineligible player in the Bit O’Red’s 2-0 win last week and the decision not to award the points to Shels for Pat’s failure to fulfil their league fixture, can both potentially impact Derry’s bid to finish in the top two.The 3-0 win awarded to Dundalk lifted the Lilywhites above Derry and back into second place while fourth placed St Pat’s could potentially close the gap on Higgins’ troops should they win that rearranged clash with Shels.

That match was due to take place on Sunday August 7th, but was called off less than 48 hours before after St Pat’s informed the FAI they were unable to source a charter home from Sofia after their Conference League qualifier.The Inchicore side were left stranded in Bulgaria, and only arrived back to Dublin on the morning the fixture was due to take place - a decision which angered Shelbourne boss Duff.While Higgins understands the decision to hand Dundalk the three points against Sligo after they fielded an ineligible player, he’s frustrated that the 3-0 win cuts the goal difference between the clubs from seven to two - a goal difference tally which could potentially equate to a point come the end of the campaign.However, the Derry boss has called for clarity on the FAI’s decision not to punish St Pat’s for their failure to fulfil their fixture obligations.“Rules are the rules,” Higgins said when asked about the outcome of Sligo’s Disciplinary hearing. “Dundalk have maybe got away with one there but you can’t argue with the rules.

"The St Pat’s one, the game now has to be rescheduled. We would like, and I think all the clubs should know, what the rules are in relation to that because it’s the first time I’ve seen this. I’m not saying anyone is in the wrong, I would just like clarification on what the rules are when they didn’t get back to fulfil their fixture against Shelbourne.“I’m not saying who’s right or wrong, I haven’t a clue. I just want clarity on the situation. I’ve never heard of it but I would like to know the FAI rules on it. I think all teams should be made aware of it. It’s a strange situation.”

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“An Independent Disciplinary Committee of the Football Association of Ireland has determined that the SSE Airtricity Premier Division fixture between Shelbourne FC and St Patrick’s Athletic FC, that was scheduled to be played on Sunday, August 7th 2022, is to be rescheduled and will be played on a date to be arranged by the League of Ireland,” the FAI said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins braced for 'one of the toughest games of season...
Derry City’s manager Ruaidhri Higgins has called for clarity from the FAI after the decision to reschedule St Pat's league clash with Shelbourne.