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Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Friday, 15 October 2010 12:19 UK

Derry City cleared over Patrick McEleney eligibility

Patrick McEleney
Patrick McEleney did not play for the Republic's Under-19s in Bulgaria

Derry City have been assured they did not break any rules by including Patrick McEleney in a crucial First Division match against Shelbourne.

McEleney scored two goals in City's 3-0 win which kept them top of the table.

But Shelbourne questioned McEleney's eligibility as he had pulled out of playing for the Republic of Ireland's Under-19s because of an ankle injury.

The FAI said that by when McEleney had recovered from the injury he was no longer needed for international duty.

There had been concerns that Derry might have broken a participation agreement, a binding code of conduct to which all League of Ireland clubs have signed up.

It says that if a player is not released for international duty, he cannot play for his club during the five days after that duty.

However, on Friday, the FAI cleared Derry of any breach.

"The player was called into the Republic of Ireland Under-19 squad but contacted management to inform them that he was injured. As a result, he was withdrawn from the squad," read an association statement.

"By the time he had recovered from the injury, he was no longer required to fulfil his international duties and so he was eligible to play for Derry City.

"Having established the facts,with the assistance of the FAI international and disciplinary departments, we are satisfied that there is no action to be taken in relation to this matter."

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see also
Derry City 3-0 Shelbourne
09 Oct 10 |  Irish

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