Three players get 40-year football bans for involvement in referee assault

Another former player has received a lifetime ban from "all football activity"

Three players get 40-year football bans for involvement in referee assault

Referee Daniel Sweeney is pictured in hospital | Image: Joe Cassidy

Three Mullingar Town players have been banned from all football activity in Ireland for 40 years each for their involvement in an assault against a referee.

Daniel Sweeney, aged in his 50s, reportedly suffered serious injuries to his jaw, cheekbone and nose in the incident in the town of Horseleap earlier this month.

The altercation happened after a match between Horseleap FC and Mullingar Town.

Today, the Combined Counties Football League confirmed three players involved in the incident will be banned "from all football activity under the jurisdiction of the FAI for 40 years".

It means they also can't coach, manage or be part of a club committee for that period.

A former Mullingar Town player who was "involved as a spectator" has received a life ban from all football activity, having previously been banned from playing for a previous assault.

In addition, the Mullingar team will have to have three match officials in attendance at all games remaining this season - with a review to decide whether that should be extended.

They've also been told to appoint an additional liaison officer to assist match officials, and fined €500 for "failure to control its players and supporters".

The fine will go towards Mr Sweeney's recovery fund.

In a statement, the CCFL said: "The recent assault on CCFL match official Daniel Sweeney resulted in local, national and international headlines.

"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."