Linfield hit out at Irish FA after receiving hefty fine

Linfield and Cliftonville during their County Antrim Shield semi-final
Linfield and Cliftonville during their County Antrim Shield semi-final

Linfield are considering a “joint approach” with Cliftonville in any appeal process against the £3,000 fines imposed on the clubs by the Irish Football Association.

The Belfast giants have been hit with the hefty penalties following what the IFA described as the “unacceptable behaviour of supporters” at last October’s County Antrim Shield semi-final between the sides.

Reports of sectarian singing from a number of fans from both clubs marred the cup tie – which Linfield went on to win 4-1.

On Thursday Cliftonville voiced their anger and disappointment at the punishment, and on Friday Linfield joined their rivals in criticising the IFA’s rationale.

“The Board of Directors of Linfield Football Club join with our colleagues at Cliftonville FC in expressing our utter dismay at the recent decision of the Irish Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee, concerning the fixture between our clubs on October 29, 2013 and also the IFA’s peculiar choice to publicise the verdict in such a manner,” Linfield said in a statement.

It added: “We have serious concerns as to how this decision was reached and wish to reassure all true Linfield supporters that we will vigorously contest this action.

“We have been in contact with our colleagues at Cliftonville FC and hope to be able to present a joint approach at a future appeal hearing. Each and every club in our league is affected by this issue and all of local football must join together to ensure that fair and just disciplinary criteria are used.

“For the avoidance of all doubt, Linfield FC again repeats our opposition to intolerance, sectarianism and bigotry in any of their forms.”