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Dundalk: We're in the clear in Rafter row

Dundalk say that they received official FAI notification that Michael Rafter’s transfer was valid back in February.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

DUNDALK HAVE SLAMMED claims that Michael Rafter was not properly registered and say that the FAI gave them an official green light on the striker’s transfer.

Rafter scored twice as the Lilywhites guaranteed top flight survival with a 4-2 aggregate win in last week’s promotion/relegation play-off against Waterford United.

But the result was cast into doubt on Tuesday as Waterford lodged a dramatic appeal to have it overturned.

The Blues filed a formal complaint on the grounds that Rafter, who moved to Oriel Park in February, had not been signed before the transfer deadline and was therefore ineligible to play.

The move raised doubts over Dundalk’s top flight status for 2013 but in a statement last night, the Louth club reassured their fans that all of the transfer paperwork is in order.

Rafter, 20, was signed from St Michael’s AFC, an amateur club in Tipperary town on 21 February. Dundalk say that because he was signed on professional terms, the professional registration deadline of 22 February applies rather than the amateur deadline of 31 January as Waterford contest.

And Dundalk say that they received official notification from the FAI the following week stating that Rafter was fully registered.

The statement said: “Dundalk FC today [Wednesday] received notification from the FAI and Waterford United that an objection had been officially lodged regarding the registration of Michael Rafter.

We are aware that this has caused concern with Dundalk supporters and with Michael himself.

We would like to reassure all Dundalk supporters that Michael’s registration is valid.

It added: “As Dundalk Football Club signed Michael Rafter on professional terms during the professional registration period that expired on February 22nd we believe that this objection has no merit.

Furthermore on February 29th, Dundalk FC received official notification from the FAI that Michael was fully registered with the club from February 21st onwards.

“The club is continuing to prepare for the 2013 Airtricity League Premier Division and will update supporters on any further developments.”

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