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Armagh accuse GAA of not acting on racist and 'partitionist' abuse

THE Armagh county board has claimed that alleged racist abuse and "partitionist" provocation have been directed at their players without any punishment being meted out by the GAA.

Armagh chiefs made these accusations in a dramatic statement coming in the wake of Ciarán McKeever's red card against Laois.

The Armagh skipper was sent off for allegedly kicking an opponent in the O'Moore Park tunnel at half-time during Sunday's defeat.

He now faces a two-match ban for the alleged incident, which he has vehemently denied to Armagh officials.

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) acted on referee Michael Duffy's report, which reported McKeever and also proposed that Armagh assistant-manager Paul Grimley should serve a three-month suspension for his angry confrontation with the match official after the game.

Now Armagh have responded by claiming "alleged racist and personal abuse directed at our players is apparently going unpunished".

A county board statement said: "The chanting of 'God Save the Queen' and malign taunting of 'British B*****d' has no place either on or off the field of play. This is provocation in the extreme and at variance with Rule 1.2 that 'the association is a national organisation which has as its basic aim the strengthening of the national identity in a 32-county Ireland through the preservation and promotion of Gaelic games and pastimes. This partitionist mindset is contrary to the preamble in the Treori (Rules)."

They also claim such abuse is in direct contravention of Rule 1.12 that "the association is anti-sectarian and anti-racist. Any conduct by deed, word or gesture of a sectarian or racist nature against any player, official, spectator or anyone else, in the course of activities organised by the association, shall be deemed to have discredited the association."

The Laois county board has already conducted an internal investigation - and found no evidence of any racial abuse directed by any of its players. "We have looked into and we have no evidence to say whether it happened or not," said Laois chairman Brian Allen.

Duffy had red-carded McKeever just before the second half restarted and he initially refused to leave the field, adamant he had done nothing wrong. Armagh officials are set to vigorously defend the player.

A NEW mid-sized stadium for the greater Dublin area remains on the GAA's agenda -- but it won't happen any day soon, admits director-general Páraic Duffy.

"There is a general recognition that we need a stadium of around 20-25,000 capacity in that Meath/Kildare/Dublin area but at the moment it is not realistic. Funding is the issue," Duffy confirmed.