Has IFA got any balls..?

A RESIDENT Magistrate who wanted to send five football hooligan rioters to jail yesterday felt he couldn’t – as a previous rioter had successfully appealed against the two-month term the same magistrate had handed down. You’d almost wonder why the Government bothered introducing stiffer sentences. Magistrate Desmond Perry said he imagined the lack of an immediate sentence wouldn’t please the two football clubs involved. Really? We’ll see if Linfield or Glentoran ban any convicted rioters from their grounds – but somehow I doubt that the feeble IFA has the balls.

Talkback had a good debate on this issue today.

  • A Pat Jennings Fan

    “We’ll see if Linfield or Glentoran ban any convicted rioters from their grounds – but somehow I doubt that the feeble IFA has the balls”

    I think it’s the individual club’s responsibility to ensure they don’t get into the grounds, so you’re being a bit hard on the IFA here.

    Technically with the size of the crowds in the Irish League, this shouldn’t be that difficult, but it’s a question of whether the two clubs can be bothered to carry out their responsibilities.

    Perhaps a suspended fine for Linfield and Glentoran, dependent on further violence, might make then be a bit more careful about who they let in.

    And the fine would come from the IFA, so I’ve argued myself round to agreeing with you at the end!

    (I also wonder when the first comment proclaiming Linfield/Glentoran/Rangers/N.Ireland fans are all bigots and thugs will enter the thread. My money is on within 5 posts!)

  • e.belfast gael

    I don’t recall anyone calling Glentoran fans bigots.

    The Glens have always had a mixed support over the years and the club have always signed players on their footballing ability and not their religious persuasion.

    I’ve always had a wee soft spot for the Glens.

  • maca

    Nice footballing side the Glens … didn’t fare too well tonight though, 4-1 to Shels.

  • A Pat Jennings Fan

    “I don’t recall anyone calling Glentoran fans bigots”

    You can’t have been reading some of the rubbish that’s been written on the various football threads here recently!

  • e.belfast gael

    apjf

    I have been following the various threads with some amusement actually.

    Still don’t recall the Glens being mentioned.

  • A Pat Jennings Fan

    EBG,
    There was a mammoth thread from about a month ago that got deleted, I would like to think for quality control reasons, but more likely because all kinds of potentially libellious guff was being spouted by one poster in particular.

    At several times the Glens were included with the evil triumvirate (Linfield,Rangers,NI)as the root of all sectarian evil in society.

    And sorry Gonzo for inadvertently diverting the thread from the original topic.

  • watt

    The Glentoran chaiman was interviewed on the television this evening.

    When asked about banning the rioters from the ground, he said

    “whats the point, the same supporter could turn up next week in a green wig with his face painted green & red, how could we recognise him then”

    It sounds to me that there is no will within the boards of both clubs to face up to their responsibilities.

    Making an example of these scum would have at least made a point.

  • rocky

    pat jennings fan

    Sounds to me that you are trying to put this thread in the direction that the others took

  • A Pat Jennings Fan

    Rocky,
    It might look that way but it was completely unintentional.

    Watt,

    “It sounds to me that there is no will within the boards of both clubs to face up to their responsibilities”

    If one of these hooligans turns up at the gate for a run of a mill game, where there is a low attendance, the clubs are not going to throw them out. They’re more bothered about making a few extra bob rather than, as you say, carrying out their responsibilities.
    A large suspended fine hanging over their heads might make them think a bit more about doing the right thing.

  • fair_deal

    Bans from the ground are much more common on the mainland. However, this is easier to do as they are all ticket affairs. Also the CCTV stuff and anti-hooligan policing is much more highly developed there – the number of England fans I saw picked up on sight in Manchester before the NI v Eng game was impressive.

    Despite these impediments the clubs should ban them and do their best to keep them out of grounds.

  • beano

    Definitely – they should at least try and serve a ban. Perhaps they’d fail but at least they’d be making an effort.

  • Gonzo

    Since local football has gone down the tubes, what’s the harm in losing a few hooligans?

  • aquifer

    On the British ‘Mainland’ it was interesting to see the stiff sentencing for young Muslim rioters. The law’s toleration of wanton aggression here is now a state subsidy to the politics of sectarian division. It is probably a throwback to the time when the police were actively participating in riots as another Orange mob, with the aim not of arresting for the general good, but of physically oppressing and maiming nationalists with the least amount of paperwork. A policy of arresting and jailing rioters would have put too many ‘good’ Orangemen in jail along with the fenians.

  • willowfield

    Unless the supporters in question are season ticket holders, or personally known to Glentoran officials, it’s hard to know how they could be banned.

    Even if identified and banned, how would a ban be enforced? Games are not all-ticket, and even if they were, there is no identification required to buy tickets, so unless they put photographs up at the turnstiles to enable turnstile-operators and officials to recognise the supporters in question, I can’t see how they could be effectively banned.

    As APJ says, Glentoran and Linfield should be heavily fined for their irresponsible actions on the day (i.e. opening gates to allow rioters on to the pitch).

  • fair_deal

    Aquifer

    Thank you for showing no matter what the issue it must end up proving the anti-Catholic nature of the state. Unadulterated MOPEry.

    This was a riot among football supporters of two teams that draw their support primarily from Protestant communties. It was not a sectarian incident.

  • Mick

    Calling any set of fans ‘bigots’ is by definition inaccurate. We’ve had one joker on a lot of the football thread using multiple names and mostly (though not on every occasion) using it to heap abuse on several sets of fans. The person in question has been red carded, and I hope will content himself to stick to one name in future and to argue rather than personally attack other posters.

  • joavie

    Wonder if they had of been cliftonvile fans would they have been jaied

  • willowfield

    It wouldn’t have made any difference.

  • George

    Both Linfield and Glentoran have failed to take action against anybody.

    A Glens spokesman said it would be impossible to enforce as the banned fan could come with a big green wig and black and red painted face (you’d stand out like that I would think myself) and Linfield said all they could do was check the names of the 11 (?) charged with their season ticket list.
    Even then they’d only lose their season ticket.

    There isn’t the money in Irish League football to steward games that tightly so I understand the clubs.

    By the way, did anyone see the game against Shels last night and how badly prepared the Glens were?

    It is unacceptable to go down 6-2 to Shels. I know it’s the off season but these guys looked like they’d just stepped out of the pub. I thought they would be up for it.

    Pat Dolan said on RTE that he expected a really tight game and was horrified at their fitness and general readiness for the task. The League of Ireland 10 years ago was the refrain.

    Something has to be done because last night was shameful. Summer football for the Irish League sooner rather than later?

  • Murd The Oppressor

    No doubt about it, but these morons who were on the pitch that day should never be allowed to darken the turnstile of any football ground in the UK ever again. I have already contacted the IFA about this nasty business and was promised action, but I fear any action will fall short of a deterrent. If this is repeated it will be a heavy blow to anyone living in Northern Ireland who loves football.

  • willowfield

    Care to answer the points I raised at 8.48am?

  • Gonzo

    It was a rather defeatist post, containing ideas which, if implemented, would allow the problem to continue unabated.

    You actually think the violent fans give two shits about their club being fined?!

    Clubs here need overhauled and dragged kicking and screaming into the last century, never mind this one.

  • A Pat Jennings Fan

    “so unless they put photographs up at the turnstiles to enable turnstile-operators and officials to recognise the supporters in question, I can’t see how they could be effectively banned”

    Actually Willowfield, bearing in mind that the majority of Irish league games we’re talking about hundreds rather than thousands of fans, I think this method would probably work most of the time.

    For the Big Two games, then policing who buys tickets(and I’m presuming they are all-ticket, if they’re not they should be)requiring ID etc can go some way towards eliminating the risk.

    But another point not mentioned yet is the responsibility of other supporters. I went to IL matches regularly(admitedly a long time ago) and it was always the same faces causing trouble at the big games. I know it would go against the grain for a lot of people, but if they do genuinely care about their club they should be pointing out the hooligans with previous form to police or stewarts at the game.

  • willowfield

    Gonzo

    It was a rather defeatist post, containing ideas which, if implemented, would allow the problem to continue unabated.

    I don’t see how that would be the case. If clubs received punitive fines, would that not be major incentive to get their acts together to prevent hooliganism in the future? Particularly given the tight financial situation they are in, they are not going to want to risk further fines.

    You actually think the violent fans give two shits about their club being fined?!

    No. But the clubs would. See above.

    Clubs here need overhauled and dragged kicking and screaming into the last century, never mind this one.

    So you’re coming round to my point of view!

    APJ

    Actually Willowfield, bearing in mind that the majority of Irish league games we’re talking about hundreds rather than thousands of fans, I think this method would probably work most of the time.

    Maybe for games attended by hundreds, but not for the big games at which there is greatest risk of trouble. And given that, as you say, most games are only attended by hundreds, and the match at which the riot took place attracted a crowd of 10-12,000, the likelihood that those convicted were regular attenders is fairly slim.

  • darthrumsfeld

    I used to see Bishop Farquhar in the directors’ box at Windsor, and was told he was a Blueman by a committee member

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I’m a Coleraine fan, and, on the whole I have found Glentoran fans passionate about their team like anyone else, but friendly towards us and up for a bit of a “lauf” at half-time in their social club. This is unlike a section of the Linfield fans, who usually end up throwing bottles of Buckfast at us and trying to goad us into a fight every time they play us…it has nothing to do with religion, but just hooliganism as Coleraine are a predominantly Protestant-supported team, just like Linfield!

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    Dirty Linfield. Wouldn’t get that at a Crues match 😉

    Actually the last Crues match I was at was against Omagh this year. Some Linfield fans seemed to have tagged along with their Crusaders supporting friends and were honorary Omagh fans for the night, but aside from some rather choice language there was nothing actually threatening.

    Of course there were only a couple of hundred fans there in total.