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match busted Gardai forced to break up pre-season friendly between two NEFL teams in Drogheda last weekend


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Garda stock picture.

Garda stock picture.

Garda stock picture.

GardaÍ had to break up an unauthorised pre-season friendly between two North East Football League (NEFL) teams in Drogheda last weekend, the Sunday World has learned.

The game between Chord Celtic and Donnycarney FC, at Meadowview - which was not approved by officials from either club - was brought to an abrupt halt following the arrival of gardaí at the venue last Sunday.

The ill-advised clash could now leave organisers facing serious repercussions as gardaí have confirmed that a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Officials for both clubs have said that management was not aware of any game taking place.

A Garda spokesman said: "Gardaí attended a premises in Hazel Lane, Drogheda, Co. Louth on March 14, 2021 and engaged with those present.

"Where gardaí identify potential breaches of the public health regulations a file is prepared for the DPP in each case or a Fixed Payment Notice is issued where appropriate.

Breaches

"Where any breaches of the Health Act are detected a file will be prepared for the DPP.

"The DPP will then provide direction or otherwise.'

NEFL secretary Gerry Gorman confirmed that they have been made aware of the incident.

"At the moment it is not a matter for the NEFL as the appropriate authorities have taken the correct course of action and dealt with the matter properly," he said.

"However should it be established to our satisfaction that officials from either or both clubs were actively involved in organising a game in breach of Covid regulations we would probably be compelled to investigate it further."

A spokesperson for Donnycarney Celtic said: "We have only just heard of this, we feel it is appropriate to let the guards deal with it, and as far as the club is concerned football is shut down, no team - and we stress none of our teams - should be playing at all."

A Chord Celtic spokesperson denied his side was involved at all.

"This was not an official Chord Celtic team, the chairman, secretary or coach were not aware of it."

The spokesperson added: "A number of players had access to our kit and were told they could use the pitch to practise free kicks, and it seems they may have been involved, but as for an official Chord side playing a friendly that didn't happen."

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