Saturday 24 March 2018

Players consider RTE boycott over treatment of Galvin

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

KERRY footballers may boycott RTE in protest over what they regard as unfair treatment of Paul Galvin on 'The Sunday Game'.

As the drama continued to unfold, it has also emerged that Galvin is to accept the eight-week suspension proposed on Tuesday, which rules him out until August 8. He had the option of taking his case to the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) -- and beyond if the verdict went against him -- but has decided against it.

However, the fallout is far from over as the Kerry camp are furious with what they regard as the scapegoating of Galvin. Sources close to the squad revealed last night that they were considering withdrawing cooperation with RTE for pre- and post-match interviews.

And since one of 'The Sunday Game' panellists whom Kerry are particularly angry with is Anthony Tohill, it could also have repercussions for Ireland's International Rules team, as the former Derry midfielder will manage the squad in the autumn internationals against Australia.

It's thought unlikely that Galvin would make himself available to play under Tohill and there may also be other Kerry defections in support of the 2009 Footballer of the Year.

The Kerry camp is blaming 'The Sunday Game' for covering the Galvin-Eoin Cadogan clash so extensively on Sunday night, believing that it prompted swift reaction from the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) on Monday.

Referee Pat McEnaney took no action during the game but reacted once he was forwarded a video clip of the incident by the CCCC on Monday.

An eight-week ban was proposed, leaving Kerry convinced that the high-profile intervention by 'The Sunday Game' had played a major part in Galvin's latest suspension.

"If RTE think they can act as judge and jury on a player, yet continue to get cooperation from his team-mates when it comes to interviews, they're living on a different planet. They can't have everything their own way," said an influential Kerry source.

Confirming that Galvin would not be challenging the suspension, Jerome Conway, the Kerry County Board chairman, said it was disappointing that he would not be available for the Munster final but the matter was now closed at official level.

However, he said there were aspects of the case that were disturbing and which needed reviewing in the broader disciplinary context.

"Do the CCCC look at games in their entirety or just at highlighted incidents? Television programmes should not be part of our disciplinary process. In fact, they should have no influence at all. The thing about justice is that it must not only be done but also seen to be done," he said.

Conway said there were other incidents from last Sunday shown up by TV footage, which were not the subject of investigation.

"I'm not condoning what Paul did but if one incident is to be revisited, so should others. That's a concern we have down here but we'll move on now and concentrate on the Munster final," he said.

Irish Independent

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