Tuesday 19 September 2017

Ban blow: O'Gara facing eight-week ban suspension and O Se four weeks after Croker clash

Cian Murphy

THE Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) have targeted Kerry's Marc O Se and Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara in their first major disciplinary crackdown of 2011.

It's understood that O Se has had a four-week suspension proposed and O'Gara could be hit with an eight-week ban arising out of their injury-time flashpoint at the end of last Saturday's Allianz Football League clash at Croke Park.

However, both players are believed to be seeking a meeting with the Central Hearings Committee in Croke Park next week in a bid to escape punishment.

If upheld, the suspensions would be a major blow to both camps.

Jack O'Connor's Kerry have been plagued by disciplinary problems.

Their championship challenge was severely weakened last summer by the loss of Paul Galvin and Tomas O Se to suspensions and already this season they have had Barry John Keane hit with an eight-week ban following an incident in their opening-round league defeat by Cork.

Full-forward O'Gara was one of the key elements in the team that Dublin manager Pat Gilroy built mid-championship last summer. The Templeogue Synge Street clubman had developed into their main target man in attack and has started all three of their league matches this year.

After missing all but seven minutes of last year's league campaign through a combination of suspension and injury, a full league campaign was seen as a crucial stage in his inter-county development.

But if the eight-week ban is upheld it would rule him out of the rest of Dublin's league challenge.

The decision of the CCCC to act now comes after a number of earlier incidents in other league games went unchallenged by the disciplinary watchdog.

For Dublin and Kerry, the decision of the CCCC to suddenly awake from their slumber will re-open the debate about teams in the spotlight being treated with a greater degree of scrutiny than the rest of the country.

O Se and O'Gara became entangled in the dying moments of their league clash as Kerry's Bryan Sheehan prepared to take an injury-time free to try to salvage a point from the encounter.

Aside from ruining their league campaigns, it would also put this key duo on thin ice for the remainder of the inter-county season. They could face the threat of a ban being automatically doubled if a repeat offence is committed inside 48 weeks.

Irish Independent

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