Cork City’s Amputee team will play their first ever match this coming Saturday when they take on Bohemian FC at 1.30pm. The inaugural amputee league will be launched with a showcase game at Midleton FC’s Knockgriffin Park.
Cork City FC were the first League of Ireland club to launch their Amputee Football team in December with Bohemian FC recently confirming their participation in the league. Shamrock Rovers are expected to also field a team in the competition with a fourth club expected to sign up before the league officially kicks off.
The development of a national amputee league sees one of the Irish Amputee Football Association’s long-term aims come to fruition. The IAFA was set up in April 2011 with the aim of promoting and developing Amputee Football in Ireland, help towards the development of persons interested in the sport and to develop a National Irish Amputee Football League.
The IAFA operates under the FAI’s Football For All programme and Amputee Football is open to any person with an amputation, congenital deficiency, or other limb affecting disorder. The training sessions held by the IAFA to date have been open to both male and female amputees of all ages.
This weekend’s match will be a showcase to launch the league and the teams will be five a side for this fixture but expected to grow to seven a side once the league officially starts.
Speaking ahead of the game, defender David Saunders said: “We are extremely excited to bring amputee football to Cork. We want to thank Cork City FC for their amazing support. We would like to thank Paul Wycherley, Éanna Buckley and Cork City board members for their enthusiasm for the project from the outset. We would also like to thank Nick Harrison of the FAI for his professionalism and support in helping to get the team up and running and Rónán Collins for his coaching. We have enjoyed our training sessions for the past number of weeks and we can’t wait for the first game!”
Cork City FC Amputee Squad:
08/12/1998 | Cathal Hourigan | Mallow United | GK
27/03/75 | Owen Corkery | GK
18/09/1991 | Fergal Duffy | Ballybridge United | GK
25/01/1979 | Kevin Cahillane | UL Sport | DF
19/12/1988|Martin Enright| Mogeely Fc | DF
22/06/82 | David Saunders | UL Sport | DF
25/04/1981 | Ruairí Murphy | Douglas Hall | FW
15/10/1984 | Sean Murphy | Araglen Athletic and Los Zarcos | MF
The following rules of the game are outlined on the IAFA website:
- An amputee is defined as someone who is ‘abbreviated’ at or near the ankle or wrist.
- Outfield players may have two hands but only one leg.
- Goalkeepers may have two feet but only one hand.
- The game is played with metal crutches and without prostheses. Players may not use crutches to advance, control or block the ball. Such an action will be penalised in the same way as a hand-ball infringement. However, incidental contact between crutch and ball is tolerated.
- Players may not use their residual limbs to voluntarily advance, control or block the ball. Such an action will be penalised in the same way as a hand-ball infringement. However, incidental contact between residual limb and ball is tolerated.
- Use of a crutch against a player will lead to ejection from the game and a penalty kick for the opposing team.
- Shin pads must be worn.
- Playing pitches measure a maximum of 70 x 60 metres.
- Goals measure 2.2 metres maximum (height) x 5 metres maximum (width) x 1 metre (depth).
- Ball used is FIFA standard.
- Games consist of 2 x 25-minute halves (variable according to the tournament), with a ten-minute rest period in between. Both teams are allowed one, one-minute, time-out per half.
- The Offside rule does not apply in Amputee Football.
- International rules stipulate that a team be made up of six outfield players and a goalkeeper. However, certain tournaments require teams of four outfield players and a goalkeeper.
- A goalkeeper is not permitted to leave his or her area. Should this occur deliberately, the goalkeeper will be ejected from the game and the opposing team awarded a penalty kick.
- An unlimited amount of substitutions can be made, at any point during the game.
By Erika Ní Thuama