Friday, September 08, 2006

Irish Satisfied with Staunton Ban

UEFA's Control and Disciplinary body today handed the Republic of Ireland a huge boost for next month's Euro 2008 qualifier against Cyprus by banning manager Steve Staunton from the sideline for the crucial game.

While they had hoped for Staunton to receive a longer punishment following his sending-off in last Saturday's defeat to Germany, FAI officials expressed themselves "reasonably happy" that the national team will be able to take on the Cypriots without the interference of the monotone Louthman.

"While ideally we would have hoped Stan would be banished to the stands for four or five matches," confided a Merrion Square insider, "at least this small respite will give the players the chance to get on with what will be difficult encounter without the distraction of Stan's drain-like drawl."

Irish players contacted today were united in their appreciation of UEFA's move. Newcastle's Damien Duff spoke appreciatively about the Swiss-based footocrats' decision, commenting "Its nice for the players to know when preparing for such a big game that from the moment we enter the stadium to when the final whistle blows we won't be bothered by shouts of "laaaads, squeeze de play!" or "Duffor, will ye howld yer position" in that unsettling, flat accent. It can be very annoying you know."

While Staunton himself refused to comment, a UEFA official in Nyon revealed that the dirgeful Droghedian left accompanied by Kevin McDonald, reportedly muttering to his assistant something about "gettin' de feckin' phone number for dat tannoy announcor in Nicosia."


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