Drogheda United have lodged an appeal with the FAI after Wexford Youths fielded a team of fully formed men for their relegation/promotion 1st leg play-off on Monday night.
Should Wexford Youths be found guilty of fielding over-age players then they would automatically forfeit the game 0-3 and face a fine even Mick Wallace couldn’t wangle his way out of.
Drogheda manager Pete Mahon was fuming from the dugout in Wexford after realising that the Wexford team was over-age.
“It was a joke. Everyone could tell they weren’t teenagers. The definition of a youth is and I quote ‘A young man, a male adolescent.’ Not my words. The words of the dictionary.
“They even printed their ages,” blasted Mahon, clutching a match programme. “Lookit! Their goalie is 38! Technically old enough to be a grandfather, if he’s fertile. I alerted the referee and linesmen to the obvious error before kick-off even but they were having none of it and threatened to send me to the stands if I didn’t stop complaining.”
Captain Sean Thornton was similarly unimpressed.
“I mean this is something you’d expect in the under-12s schoolboy league, not in the semi-professional environment of the League of Ireland. It wasn’t fair to be playing against bigger boys. We’d prepared to play youths, not seasoned semi-professionals.”
Mahon and Thornton have a point. The average age of Wexford ‘Youths’ was 25, far above the cut-off point of what constitutes a youth in a court of law (13-19 years old). And with an average age of 22, Drogheda United are closer to the term ‘youth’ than their conniving Wexican counterparts.
Wexford ‘Youths’ won 2-0 on the night, leaving Friday’s return leg needing a three goal swing if the Boynesiders are to gain promotion. A meeting of the FAI convenes tomorrow to discuss the matter and it has been indicated to Boyneside officials that the Drogs could be included in the Premier Division as an extra team.