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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 7 March 2021
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'Some of them couldn't even raise their arms afterwards ' - Rovers II and Galway players treated for hypothermia

Stephen McGuinness is seeking clarification from the FAI after the SSE Airtricity League First Division match was played during Storm Jorge.

Tallaght Stadium (file photo).
Tallaght Stadium (file photo).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

PFAI GENERAL SECRETARY Stephen McGuinness has contacted the FAI after players from Shamrock Rovers II and Galway United were treated for hypothermia over the weekend. 

The SSE Airtricity League First Division fixture went ahead in bitterly cold conditions at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday, despite an orange weather warning being issued for the arrival of Storm Jorge. 

After the game finished 1-1, several players needed medical attention for hypothermia. 

“We’ve written to the FAI today asking for clarification on the protocols that were in place,” McGuinness told The42 today. 

“We’ve spoken with the members [players], those affected, and I’ve spoken with the two managers today.

“Nobody can really ever remember anything like this happening — it’s kind of unprecedented. I can’t remember something like this happening in 30 years involved in the league myself.

“Speaking to the managers, some of the players couldn’t even raise their arms afterwards — they were barely able to make it the length of the pitch.”

McGuinness believes the safety of the players is paramount and feels it was up to the league or officials on the day to call the match off, if necessary.  

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“No manager, or players, are going to just walk off the pitch regardless of the conditions because of the potential ramifications,” he added. “Someone needs to make that decision for them.

There was a game involving Sligo Rovers [and Waterford] the other day which was postponed, so we’re wondering why this game was played while there was an orange weather warning in place across the country.

“So we’ve asked the FAI for more information on the protocols that were in place that should have prevented this from happening and should prevent anything similar from happening in future.

“We’re also checking to see if there are different protocols for the members who were affected, particularly those who had hypothermia — the way there would be if a player suffered a concussion, for example, where there would be a period of time before they could return to training.”

- With reporting from Gavan Casey 

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Ben Blake

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