Saturday 24 March 2018

Mayo face expulsion from FBD League after failure to contest New York final

Declan Casey

MAYO are facing up to the prospect of being expelled from next year's FBD League as the Connacht Council consider sanctions over the county's refusal to send a team to New York for this season's final.

Provincial secretary John Prenty said he was "hugely disappointed" by the decision and warned that the Connacht Council will "have to look at whether we'd be willing to put Mayo into the competition" next year.

James Horan's side beat NUI Galway in the 'home' final of the FBD League last January, which meant they were due to play New York in the Big Apple this Sunday.

But last Thursday the Mayo County Board issued a statement expressing regret that they would be "unable to field a team" for that fixture.

The board cited club fixtures, family and work commitments and player eligibility issues affecting 23 members of the squad for their failure to head Stateside.

But Prenty, himself a former Mayo County Board secretary, responded: "They won the competition and everybody that has won it has gone (to New York). And if they're not interested in being in the final, sure there's no point playing it."

The Ballyhaunis-based official added that Mayo will "obviously" not receive the €18,000 grant which New York give to all FBD 'home' winners.

In addition, Mayo County Board may be held responsible for the flights and accommodation costs of Connacht Council officials and other members of the travelling party.

"There are difficulties with every team going to New York, whether it's the championship or the FBD," said Prenty. "There's more than 30 players in Mayo, I'm sure. I don't know why they didn't delve into other panels."

Meanwhile, Mayo secretary Kevin O'Toole insists that finance was not the reason for pulling out of the transatlantic fixture.

While admitting that the trip would have cost Mayo "about €30,000", O'Toole said that money was "not the issue" behind last week's withdrawal.

"Scheduling didn't allow us to go out," he added.

The matter is not expected to be dealt with by Connacht Council until next week.

Irish Independent

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