independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Dublin ‘Bitegate’ player set for three-match ban

Donegal's Patrick McBrearty

A three-match ban has been proposed for a Dublin footballer by the GAA's disciplinary authorities, arising from an incident during the Allianz League clash with Donegal in Ballybofey last Sunday week.

It was alleged that Donegal forward Paddy McBrearty had been bitten in the course of the game, which led to an investigation by the GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC).

Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle confirmed that they had been notified by the CCCC yesterday of the proposed ban.

He declined to name the individual involved but said that the player would take his case to the Hearings Committee. Under GAA rules, the CCCC propose a suspension which, if accepted by the player, ends the process.

However, a player has the right to take his case to the Hearings Committee. If the latter finds against him, he can go before the Central Appeals Committee. As a last resort, he can take the case to the Disputes Resolution Authority.

In recent years, most players have accepted the initial CCCC sanction.

It's understood that the case involving the Dublin player comes under a Category 3 offence. And while biting is not specifically mentioned in the rule book, it is covered under the heading "inflicting injury recklessly".

Other Category 3 offences include striking, head-butting, kicking and stamping.

Such offences carry a minimum two-match ban but, in this case, the CCCC opted to increase it to three games. If upheld, it means the player will miss the National League final on Sunday week, plus Dublin's first two championship games.

The CCCC launched an investigation following claims by Donegal that McBrearty had been bitten.

Other than noting a complaint had been made by Donegal, the referee's report threw no light on the incident.

Unusually, two referees officiated with Padraig Hughes being replaced by Michael Duffy after sustaining an injury.

McBrearty was taken to hospital for treatment after the game, which ended level. He was given a number of injections and was fit to play against Cavan in the Ulster U-21 final last night week.

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