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Limerick call 'wrong' says Kerry legend Ó Sé

THERE were two press calls yesterday morning in Croke Park.

At 11.0 in suite 686 on the Hogan Stand side of the stadium, the ground which will host an American Football match next Saturday while Kerry and Mayo meet in an All-Ireland semi-final in Limerick, Tomás Ó Sé and Liam O'Neill were present and available for interview to promote the launch of Comórtas na nGael.

In suite 680, a promotional event for the Penn State/University Central Florida game began just an hour later and 20 metres up the corridor.

Who knew they'd be so interlinked?

"It's wrong," stated Ó Sé of the basic principle of taking such a gargantuan football fixture (of the GAA kind) away from Croker, the first such act of decentralisation since Dublin/Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 1983.

Of the minutiae, the former Kerry star elaborated: "It is great that we show off our stadium, that we can gain revenue if the revenue goes back into the GAA.

"It's wrong that you have one semi-final. I think it should be put to Saturday week."

Conceding, the clash was "bad timing," he continued: "There are players that love coming to Croke Park and playing and I just think it was bad planning to put an American football game in our busiest window of the year."

verbalised

For his part, O'Neill verbalised the party lines being offered on Sunday.

Predictably, O'Neill said the 'Croke Park Classic' was "a huge opportunity for us to showcase our stadium" and "of huge benefit to the economy of the Dublin region."

Yet amid accusations yesterday morning on RTÉ radio that the Gaelic Grounds had been a political appointment, O'Neill offered no reason why Semple Stadium - a better, arguably even more neutral ground, with more covered seating - wasn't considered, pointing out the decision was exclusively the CCCC's.

The 'Croke Park Classic' was over a year in the planning and rightly, wasn't to be moved or re-arranged but quite why the GAA aren't willing to budge on the Saturday week proposal is hard to fathom.

As Ó Sé contended: "I think basing the decision on the fact that there could possibly be a draw between Donegal and Dublin is wrong.

"I think they should move both games. Sure what about it if the two games are on, on the same day.

"It's not about money, it's not about Dublin filling up the stadium."

On a more general point about the Gaelic Grounds, Ó Sé admitted he "never enjoyed playing games in Limerick," adding "some fields aren't football fields in my eyes."


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