"The vicious, unprecedented level of violence directed at Daniel was unprovoked, unwarranted and unjustifiable"

One of the men involved in a vicious assault on a referee in Offaly was already serving a lifetime ban from soccer when he attacked the official.

The three Mullingar Town players involved in this incident have each been banned from all football activity under the jurisdiction of the FAI for 40 years.

The man who was serving a playing ban has seen that widened to include all football activities.

The club has also been fined €500 with the proceeds going directly to the injured party.

Referee Daniel Sweeney suffered serious facial injuries after he attacked by a number of thugs after a match in Westmeath.

Three players and one supporter, who was serving a ban for a previous assault, are alleged to have attacked Sweeney after a game between Mullingar Town and Horseleap United earlier this month

Sweeney was left with a broken jaw and other serious injuries after the heinous attack.

The CCFL released a statement on Friday detailing the sanctions imposed following the vicious assault:

Combined Counties Football League Statement

The vicious, unprecedented level of violence directed at Daniel was unprovoked, unwarranted and unjustifiable.

The incidents that occurred at the end and in the aftermath of this football game are not representative of the magnificent work undertaken by the volunteers in the administration, playing and refereeing of association football in our league or across any of the great leagues under the jurisdiction of the FAI.

Due to the widespread reporting of the events surrounding this game the CCFL Executive Committee has decided to issue a public statement relating to the outcome of the disciplinary findings. Our thanks are extended to both Horseleap Utd and Mullingar Town for their attendance and participation in the disciplinary hearings.

Historically, CCFL disciplinary decisions have been communicated between the league, clubs, match officials

(when appropriate) and the FAI DCU (also when appropriate) only so the public issuing of these disciplinary findings is to highlight and to communicate the gravity of the decisions made by the CCFL Executive. Arising from the disciplinary process the following sanctions have been imposed;

  • The former Mullingar Town player involved in this incident as a spectator (who had been banned for life from playing football as a player for a previous assault) sees the ban extended to all football activity under the jurisdiction of the FAI.
  • The 3 Mullingar Town players involved in this incident have been banned from all football activity under the jurisdiction of the FAI for 40 years (each).
  • Mullingar Town to have 3 match officials in attendance at all remaining games this season (with a review to follow at the end of the season to determine if this sanction will need to be extended).
  • Mullingar Town to appoint a Liaison Officer (independent to existing team managers and Committee) to liaise and assist match officials (home and away games).
  • Mullingar Town to meet the CCFL Executive Committee within 3 months to outline plans for an improved club structure addressing existing volunteer deficiencies.
  • Mullingar Town fined €500 for failure to control its players and supporters with the fine imposed to be passed on to the Daniel Sweeney recovery fund.

All of the above sanctions are subject to appeal as per normal football rules.

The CCFL Committee will continue to work with clubs, players, officials and match referees to ensure football can be played in a respectful manner and in a safe environment. The Committee is committed to working with the FAI and relevant referee’s bodies to encompass any proposals that may be introduced to enhance current policy. While recognising that the incidents surrounding this game are still under investigation, the Committee would like to assure the

Gardaí that it will continue to assist in its investigations and would like to extend its thanks for their efforts to date. The CCFL Committee will not comment publicly any further on this matter.

This statement has been issued on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Combined Counties Football League.