Sunday 20 August 2017

Kieran McGeeney hit with 12-week ban after incident with referee

 

25 March 2017; Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney during the Allianz Football League Division 3 Round 6 game between Armagh and Antrim at Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
25 March 2017; Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney during the Allianz Football League Division 3 Round 6 game between Armagh and Antrim at Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney has been hit with a 12-week ban arising from an incident in their Allianz NFL Division 3 clash with Antrim at the end of last month.

The game, which McGeeney's side won, saw three players - Conor Murray and Stephen Beatty of Antrim and Armagh's Stephen Sheridan - shown red cards by referee Niall Cullen.

However, it has now emerged that McGeeney is also in the dock for his part in an incident with another official, Joe McQuillan.

The Central Competitions Controls Committee (CCCC) hit McGeeney with a proposed 12-week suspension after considering the referee's report. The 2002 All-Ireland-winning captain then sought to challenge the suspension to the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) but his appeal fell on deaf ears.

Permitted

It remains unclear if McGeeney will contest the issue further but he could bring the matter to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) and even the Disputes Resolutions Authority (DRA) should he see fit. Though should he accept the ban at this point, he won't be permitted to patrol the sideline for the county's Ulster SFC opener against Down on June 4.

A separate incident in the same game saw the Antrim footballers slam their own county board, stating in a letter to the clubs of the county that they felt let down over a decision to provide Croke Park with the name of a player who was later suspended.

After an off-the-ball incident, the CCCC asked Antrim to name their player which, according to reports, they did verbally.

Matthew Fitzpatrick was subsequently handed a one-match ban before he requested a hearing and saw the suspension overturned. However the Antrim players allege that he was identified by the county board in writing, which led to a second suspension. That ban rules Fitzpatrick out of their Ulster Championship opener with Donegal in Ballybofey on May 21.

"We, the Antrim senior county footballers, are writing to you as a collective to voice our anger and extreme frustration at the recent decision taken by members of our county board," read the statement.

"This decision identified a member of our team for an alleged incident that occurred against Armagh on March 25, 2017. Croke Park officials issued an image of the alleged incident and requested the player to be named.

"County management and two members of the county board reviewed the image and it was agreed that the player could not be identified with total certainty.

"Subsequently, the player was then identified, without consulting county management. This resulted in a suspension which was later successfully appealed. It was only after the county board identified this player a second time that a second suspension was issued."

The players also said the incident "would not occur in any other county."

Meanwhile, McGeeney's former team-mate Oisín McConville has joined Eamonn Kelly's Laois hurling management team.

Irish Independent

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