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Eight-match ban for player who abused Paul McShane with 'a reference to nationality'

As well as being fined £850, Sam Finley must also undergo a face-to-face FA education programme.

Sam Finley of Accrington Stanley.
Sam Finley of Accrington Stanley.
Image: PA

ACCRINGTON STANLEY MIDFIELDER Sam Finley has received an eight-match suspension and a fine of £850 over comments he made to Rochdale defender Paul McShane.

Finley must also undergo a face-to-face FA education programme as a result of the incident which occurred during his team’s 2-1 defeat on New Year’s Day.

The 27-year-old Englishman admitted ‘using abusive or insulting language’ that ‘included a reference to nationality’, which was directed at the Republic of Ireland international.

In their written reasons for the sanction, a Football Association Regulatory Commission revealed that McShane complained to referee Tom Nield that Finley that called him “a pikey” in the 23rd minute of the League One fixture.

The report explained: “Neither the referee nor any of the officials heard the incident, and having informed the technical area members of the incident, Mr Nield arranged for the participant [Finley] to be seen soon after the game with his manager present. 

“At that post-match interview, the participant denied the allegations, claiming only to have used the word ‘prick’ and not ‘pikey’.


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“The participant was subsequently interviewed by the FA on 15 January and during that interview again claimed only to have said ‘fuck off back to your caravan you prick’. However, consequent on being formally charged on 26 February, the participant admitted the charge.”

paul-mcshane Paul McShane reported the abuse to the match referee. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Finley has made 82 appearances for Accrington Stanley since joining the club from AFC Fylde in 2018. His captain at Accrington is Galway native Seamus Conneely.

According to the FA report, Finley said in his witness statement: “I did make reference that Paul should go back to his caravan and that I was referencing his being Irish in doing so.”

McShane signed for Rochdale in October after being released by Reading last summer. The 34-year-old Wicklow native has been capped 33 times at senior level by Ireland.

Originally published at 13.02

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