THE FAI is investigating allegations of sectarian abuse made by Kenny Shiels after Friday’s dramatic loss at Turner’s Cross and has written to Derry City seeking an official statement from the club.
It’s understood the Brandywell club has until close of business on Wednesday to pursue the case and provide details of the comments made during an ugly confrontation at the end of the game.
He (John Caulfield) was very confrontational and his backroom staff joined in. More than that, some of the other members of the club were joining in as well. I was very composed and took it on the chin and walked away.Kenny Shiels
A spokesperson for the FAI said: “The Association has written to the club about the alleged comments asking, as part of an investigation, if they would submit details of the incident and the comments made. We’re awaiting their response.”
Shiels, who claimed to have been subjected to ‘disgusting’ sectarian abuse from a member of the Cork backroom staff, last night refused to comment on the ‘isolated incident’ until the matter was discussed at board level.
However, he criticised Cork boss, John Caulfield and the Cork management team for their confrontational behaviour at the final whistle, accusing his opposite number of ‘triumphalism’ and a ‘total lack of respect’.
“I don’t want to elaborate too much on that incident,” said the Derry boss. “I’m trying to move away from that. Basically I’m trying to get some direction on where we go from here.
“But there’s a way to win football matches,” he added. “You can’t have triumphalism and a lack of dignity towards the opposition which I thought was quite apparent. I’m not happy with that.
“I haven’t done anything wrong and I hope people see that sportsmanship must come into it. When you win in any sport you have to remain dignified.
“To be fair to John Caulfield, I think he’s under pressure because he’s got this huge budget and this wee team from Derry has beaten them twice this season. He’s hurting badly and there was a bit of relief but you don’t come across to the opposition dugout and try and rub salt in the wounds and then get confrontational with myself.
“I was speaking with the referee and he came and interrupted us,” he explained. “He was very confrontational and his backroom staff joined in. More than that, some of the other members of the club were joining in as well.
“I was very composed and took it on the chin and walked away,” he continued. “I was very disappointed in that type of attitude. There’s one golden rule you don’t break when you beat an opponent in football, you need to respect the other manager is going to be disappointed. And you don’t show your emotions too highly in front of the opposition. You maybe show them in the dressing room. That wasn’t adhered to.
“It was total lack of respect that I want to move on from now and not talk about it anymore. At least we have a clear conscience.”
Shiels was hugely disappointed to lose a match his side dominated with two goals conceded from dubious set-pieces awarded by the match officials during the final seven minutes of the game.
“I was very disappointed to lose the match because we’ve played them for five hours in total this season and just once in those five hours they created a chance from open play. That was Greg Bolger’s header in the second half.
“We know they are a difficult opponent down there and the crowd have a major influence on decisions and that’s what happened. We have to rise above that. We’ve kept our dignity and that’s what’s important.”