McCarthy pleads innocence

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The Independent Online
Mick McCarthy, the Republic of Ireland manager, yesterday claimed that he was an innocent victim of last season's FA Cup final ticket scandal.

Two Norwegian fans paid touts pounds 350 each for pounds 60 tickets for the match between Manchester United and Everton last May and these were traced back to McCarthy as part of his allocation of four from Millwall where he was then the manager.

This led to the FA yesterday banning him from receiving Cup final tickets for 10 years but, speaking in Dublin yesterday, McCarthy pleaded his innocence. "I gave these four tickets to a well-respected friend of mine at face value and he informed me that he had attended the game with another friend and their respective sons. I believed him," McCarthy said.

"The problem is that I didn't hold on to the four ticket stubs. Even if I had given the tickets to Mother Teresa, I wouldn't have got off with it," he added.

"If this whole business stamps out ticket touting, I will be very happy. I deplore ticket touting - I always have and I always will," McCarthy said.

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