Monday 21 August 2017

Wexford and Davy Fitzgerald accept 'harsh' eight-week ban for pitch incursion

16 April 2017; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Aidan Nolan, 8, tussle with Jason Forde of Tipperary during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
16 April 2017; Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald and Aidan Nolan, 8, tussle with Jason Forde of Tipperary during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Davy Fitzgerald will not seek to have the eight-week ban imposed for an incursion on to the pitch during last Sunday week’s Allianz hurling League semi-final against Tipperary in Nowlan Park rescinded or reduced.

The Wexford County Board has confirmed that their manager will accept the punishment handed down by the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee. He had the right to take the case to the Central Hearings Committee and later to the Appeals Committee, if required.

The ban won’t expire until midnight on June 11, three hours after the Leinster semi-final where, provided they beat a ‘round robin’ qualifier next month, Wexford will play Kilkenny.

The Wexford county board state that it is “fully supportive” of Fitzgerald and considers his ban to be ‘harsh’.

The statement reads:

“The County Board, and all Wexford GAA supporters, are fully supportive of Davy Fitzgerald as our senior hurling manager. Wexford people fully understand that Davy brings 100% commitment and a real passion to his coaching and it is this which makes him such an outstanding manager.  We are very proud of the tremendous work he and his backroom team have put into the senior hurling squad. That work is already bearing fruit with promotion to Division 1A achieved and a real spring in the step of all GAA followers in the county.

“It is considered that the penalty imposed for Davy’s pitch encroachment is harsh and that arguments could be made for a lessening of the penalty. Indeed, it is not unknown for other similar penalties to have been nullified after appeals and legal processes. However, this decision has been reached after detailed discussion with Davy and is being taken in the broader interests of the game and of the senior hurling team. In accepting the penalty, the focus of attention can now turn elsewhere and the GAA family in Wexford can return to strengthening our games and our teams.”

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