/ GAA

Referee is attacked in Croke Park

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010 10:39

Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick attempts to help usher referee Martin Sludden off the pitch as an angry spectator confronts the official Referee Martin Sludden was struck by spectators as he was escorted off the pitch by Gardai
Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick attempts to help usher referee Martin Sludden off the pitch as an angry spectator confronts the official Referee Martin Sludden was struck by spectators as he was escorted off the pitch by Gardai

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There were disgraceful scenes at Croke Park as referee Martin Sludden was attacked as he left the pitch after the Leinster Senior Football Championship final.

Angry spectators ran onto the pitch after the final whistle of the controversial Leinster final and several attempted to attack referee Sludden who had to be escorted off the pitch by Gardai.

Sludden appeared to be struck more than once as he exited the pitch and Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick had to hold off some of the assailants.

The controvery arose after Meath's Joe Sheridan scored an injury time goal, which prevented Louth winning their first Leinster title in over fifty years.

The referee consulted with his umpire and awarded the goal, however, television replays clearly showed that the goal shouldn't have been awarded as the ball was thrown over the goal-line.

GAA President Christy Cooney has stated that no decision on a potential replay until the referee's report on the game is filed on Monday.

Cooney also claimed that they will be investigating the incidents after full-time with a view to punishing the offenders.

RTÉ analyst Pat Spillane said it was a disgraceful finish to the game both on and off the pitch and called for the game to be replayed.

Speaking on RTÉ's Sunday Game Live show, the former Kerry great said: 'Those were disgraceful scenes at the end. Cowardly individuals attacking a referee who is doing it in a voluntary capacity.

'There is no place in the GAA for people like that. Scandalous scenes and a bad day for the GAA on that account.

'A fella doing a job made a human error. He made a mistake. We cannot condone those scenes, they are disgraceful and punishments must be handed out.'

Spillane added: 'However, just as disgraceful is that Louth were robbed of their first Leinster title since 1957 by a complete refereeing mistake.

'Joe Sheridan threw the ball over the line. Under any rules of the game, experimental or not, the goal should not have been allowed.

'We have watched the CCCC for the last few weeks rectifying wrongs and punishing guys, and rightly so, who have transgressed on the field. I am calling on the CCCC to give Louth a replay because there was a wrong committed on Louth.'

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