Wednesday 18 October 2017

'B' championship facing players' boycott

The proposed All-Ireland 'B' football championship for Division 4 counties won't be played, even if Congress votes it into existence later this month (Stock picture)
The proposed All-Ireland 'B' football championship for Division 4 counties won't be played, even if Congress votes it into existence later this month (Stock picture)

Martin Breheny and Declan Bogue

The proposed All-Ireland 'B' football championship for Division 4 counties won't be played, even if Congress votes it into existence later this month.

According to the GPA, players will boycott the competition. In an email to members, the GPA states that opposition is widespread.

"The GPA has consulted extensively with reps from the Division 4 squads and a significant majority of players in each county have indicated that they will refuse to play in the 'B' competition proposed by Central Council.

"The GPA has stressed the urgent need to establish a more effective mechanism to bring about the change required and has stated that the process put in place in this instance has proven to be highly ineffective.

"We believe that a high-powered free-standing working group - including a strong representation of county and club players - needs to be set up as a matter of urgency and have communicated this to the GAA.

"The GPA is also calling on delegates at the upcoming GAA Congress to vote against the proposal of a 'B' championship and are encouraging all football county squads to canvass their respective county delegates on this matter," says the statement.

The GPA is also encouraging Congress not to change the U-21 grade to U-20.

The news that Division 4 squads would boycott the 'B Championship comes as no surprise as there has been virtually no support for it from individual players since being put forward by Central Council.

Meanwhile, Longford club Dromard is to appeal a decision by the GAA's Central Hearings Committee to hit them with a €2,000 fine for hosting the Jamie Carragher Soccer Summer School (JCSS) last year.

In a separate development, a representative of JCSS said that the former Liverpool player had been made aware of the fine and the committee would meet to consider what assistance could be provided.

He also said that "everybody at the JCSS is saddened to hear that a local community sports club in Ireland has been fined for providing a sporting opportunity to young people".

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