Referee admits error in awarding Meath goal

Updated: Monday, 12 Jul 2010 16:57

Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick pleads with referee Martin Sludden
Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick pleads with referee Martin Sludden

The GAA has confirmed that referee Martin Sludden has admitted he was wrong to award a stoppage-time goal to Meath in their Leinster Final clash with Louth at Croke Park yesterday.

In a statement released from Croke Park, the GAA says it has no powers to order a replay of the game.

However, the statement did not rule out a replay should Meath offer to play one.

The statement said: 'The GAA confirms that the Referee’s Report has been received and the referee has stated that he made a mistake in awarding the Meath goal.

'However, under GAA Rules, a re-fixture cannot be ordered as the Referee’s report of the full time score is final.'

The GAA also confirmed that they will cooperate with Gardaí in order to bring the Louth supporters who attacked referee Sludden to justice.

'(We) condemn the actions of a small number of supporters who entered the pitch enclosure in an effort to remonstrate with the match referee Martin Sludden.

'An Garda Siochána has been provided with the television footage of the post-match events and Croke Park post-match security procedures will be reviewed in light of yesterday’s unacceptable incidents.'

Yesterday's incident once again brings the issue of post-match pitch invasions in GAA to the forefront, with moves to end this practice likely to follow.

Louth were leading by 1-10 to 0-12 before Meath's Joe Sheridan appeared to illegally carry the ball over the Louth goal-line after a goal-mouth scramble.

The goal was awarded which led to irate Louth fans confronting Martin Sludden at the final whistle.