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'He made a bit of an eejit of himself' - Dunphy criticises Sadlier and tennis ball protest

The ex-Ireland international said his former RTÉ colleague was “trying to make a name for himself”.

Eamon Dunphy (file pic).
Eamon Dunphy (file pic).
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER IRELAND INTERNATIONAL and football pundit Eamon Dunphy has criticised the tennis ball protest during the Ireland-Georgia game, while also hitting out at former RTÉ colleague Richie Sadlier for appearing to back the fans’ actions.

Dunphy has a history of protesting himself, having worn a black armband while at Millwall to mark Bloody Sunday.

Writing his regular column in the Irish Daily Star, the former player said that while he supported fans’ rights to voice their opinion, throwing objects on the pitch was going too far and he felt it made the players’ jobs harder.

Those who supported the protest, the 73-year-old pundit believed, were in the minority, describing the actions as being undertaken by “25 or so idiots”.

“As for Richie Sadlier, he made an eejit of himself,” Dunphy added.

“I understand Richie is trying to make a name for himself, not that he is doing a great job in that department.

“He was the only so-called football person to give any kind of credence to that type of carry on.

“If people wanted to protest, they should have stayed away from the match. There are plenty of things to do — sing, chant, hold up banners — but don’t interfere with the actual game.

“It was a very cheap, stupid and yobbish thing to do.”

Speaking on RTÉ after the protests on the night of the game, Sadlier said that fans were “angry and disillusioned for legitimate reasons,” while criticising the recent actions of the Football Association of Ireland.

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