Wednesday 24 May 2017

Dubs-Mayo switch blocked in best interest of players

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE controversy over the refusal to allow the Dublin-Mayo Allianz Football League tie to be played tomorrow week took another twist last night when a senior GAA official described the proposal to bring forward the game by 42 hours as "an unreasonable imposition."

Seamus Woods, chairman of the Central Competitions Control Committee, which vetoed the request to play the game on the Friday night rather than the Sunday afternoon, said that it wasn't reasonable to ask players, officials, spectators and stewards to change their plans at short notice for a fixture which had been made months ago.

Dublin CEO John Costello predicted that the attendance would be 10,000 higher tomorrow week than on the following Sunday. Costello also stressed that there was no question of the Mayo players being financially compensated for taking time off work to fulfil the fixture on Friday night.

"There was never a question of that. All Mayo wanted was accommodation on the Friday night. We also offered to fly them to Dublin. We have a very good relationship with Mayo, who were happy to facilitate us.

"We wanted to use the Friday night game to promote our games before the widest possible audience in what will be a special weekend of sport in Dublin, so we can't understand why obstacles were put in our way," he said.

Woods said that, under GAA rules, there could be no question of players being compensated for missing work because of a game and, in those circumstances, it was unfair to ask them to do so.

"The CCCC believed that it was an unreasonable imposition on players to ask them to take time off work on a Friday for a game which had been scheduled for Sunday for several months," he said.

Costello said that the Dublin County Board couldn't see the logic behind the CCCC's decision.

"Mayo were happy with it, so where was the problem? We saw a Friday night game over the St Patrick's weekend as a major promotional opening for the GAA which has now been lost. That's a great pity," he said.

Meanwhile, Kerry's Marc O Se last night lost his appeal against his four-week ban. The defender had refused to accept the punishment proposed by the CCCC arising from his clash with Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara at the end of their Allianz Football League tie at Croke Park last Saturday week.

However, it's understood that following a formal appeal, O Se has been informed that the ban stands and that he is suspended for four weeks. Sources in Kerry last night stated that they did not expect O Se to pursue the matter further.

The news rules the former All Star out of this weekend's league clash with Galway and the March 20 match against Armagh.

Irish Independent

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