Friday 30 September 2016

Dubs face fine over pre-match skirmishes

Champions in dock over late arrival onto field as CCCC launch probe into Croker flashpoints

Colm Keys and Donnchadh Boyle

Published 20/09/2016 | 02:30

Keith Higgins of Mayo and Dublin midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley get involved in a tussle as the teams enter Croke Park before Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland SFC final – the GAA discipline authorities have confirmed they are launching an investigation into the pre-match flashpoint. Photo: Don MacMonagle
Keith Higgins of Mayo and Dublin midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley get involved in a tussle as the teams enter Croke Park before Sunday’s drawn All-Ireland SFC final – the GAA discipline authorities have confirmed they are launching an investigation into the pre-match flashpoint. Photo: Don MacMonagle

The GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) is to examine the incidents which led to flashpoints between Dublin and Mayo players as they emerged from their dressing-rooms at the same time prior to Sunday's All-Ireland final.

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Dublin were first out but were some five minutes behind the schedule which had them timed for a 2.56 arrival, according to the match programme.

It is understood that they indicated they would not be meeting that schedule which, consequently, put Mayo's arrival back too. The likely sanction for Dublin not adhering to the allotted time is a fine.

Denis Bastick, Michael Darragh Macauley and Aidan O'Shea were among the players who clashed as the teams headed for the bench on the Cusack Stand side for the pre-match photographs.

Meanwhile the GAA has defended its decision to hike All-Ireland final replay tickets up by €10 to €60, insisting that their pricing still "represents good value".

Stand tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final replays in recent years had been reduced to €50. However, a GAA statement confirmed yesterday that tickets for the various stands will be priced at €60 for Saturday week's eagerly anticipated football final replay, while Dineen/Hill 16 tickets come in at €30.

A spokesman pointed out that their revised pricing to still amounted to a 25pc reduction from the drawn game.

"That was the decision that was made," spokesperson Cian Murphy said of the change in pricing for this replay. "It's a marquee event and tickets are priced at 25pc cheaper than they were for the drawn game and that is still a significant reduction.

"We would maintain that our replay figure compares favourably with admission prices to other premier sporting events."

And he insisted that the Association consistently offer competitive packages to supporters via various reductions throughout the season.

“We’ve always worked hard on our ticket pricing. During the league, U-16s got in for free, and the provincial councils have operated some form of family ticket.

“82c of every euro goes straight back into the Association. Last year, 302 clubs were given grants for developments and that is paid for by people attending our matches.”

Despite the hike, the GAA are unlikely to have any trouble selling out Croke Park for the October 1 clash.

Croke Park commercial and stadium director Peter McKenna revealed that the demand for tickets for the drawn game was so great that they could have sold 120,000 tickets.

The GAA also confirmed that tickets for the replay will be distributed through the various units nationwide and that none will go on general sale.

Irish Independent

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