When it rains chip, it pours

The Irish Football Association has been criticised for its handling of the chip scandal that rocked Irish football.

A letter of complaint was sent to the IRFU, the Football Association of Ireland and the Football League on Friday, with the former accusing the latter of “blatantly disregarding the seriousness of the matter and the gravity of the consequences” and the latter, the Irish Independent has learnt, “deliberately ignoring” the matter.

It comes after the FA issued an apology on Thursday after its chairman and chief executive, Stephen Ford, said the FA would no longer stand by a decision to suspend a player who had been banned for a year for taking part in the incident at Hillsborough.

The player, Kieran Murphy, was suspended for three months, the FA said, with a decision expected by Monday.

It came as the FA’s president, Mike Ashley, said: “It’s a big issue, a very serious issue, that is why we have a process of independent investigation.”

It is absolutely not a matter that is going to be taken lightly by anyone, including football.

“We are going to stand up for football in this matter, but at the same time, we have to respect the seriousness with which this has been dealt with.”

I am not going to say that it is easy, but we have got to respect what is the outcome of the investigation, but I think it is a very important issue.

“Mr Ford said he was “very proud” of the way the FA handled the issue.”

There is a process in place that we have put in place,” he said.”

The decision we made at the start of the year was that if it was something that was considered by the club to be of any concern to the club then it would be reviewed and we would make a decision.

“The FA’s decision to remove the suspension came as an internal investigation was underway into the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the suspension of two players.

The investigation, led by an independent panel, will be overseen by a disciplinary panel, with each player subject to a separate hearing.