Thursday 15 November 2018

Croker chiefs stall on training sanctions

Wexford hurling joint captain Lee Chin said that a trip to Portugal was organised by the players “to have a bit of fun in each other’s company”. Photo: Sportsfile
Wexford hurling joint captain Lee Chin said that a trip to Portugal was organised by the players “to have a bit of fun in each other’s company”. Photo: Sportsfile

Martin Breheny

Disciplinary action against counties who allegedly broke the regulations on training camps and challenge games in the run-up to this year's provincial championships won't be taken for another month at least - if indeed at all.

Seventeen counties were investigated by the GAA's Management Committee. Squads are not allowed to go on training camps - either at home or abroad - except in the ten days before a championship game. Nor are they permitted to play challenge games other than on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

The rules, which were tightened up at Special Congress last September, were introduced to provide more time for club programmes. They were in place for a few years but no sanction applied until this year when counties faced losing home venue for one Allianz League game in the following year.

It's understood that ten counties admitted that their squads went on extended getaways, although some insist that they broke no rules. Another seven counties were also asked to explain their situation.

The Irish Independent understands that having considered the responses, the Management Committee decided to defer the matter until a meeting between top Croke Park officials and county chairpersons in July.

Among the higher-profile cases that attracted Croke Park's attention were the Armagh football and Wexford hurling squads, both of whom travelled to Portugal, and Dublin footballers, who went to France.

However, Wexford and Dublin players insisted that the trips had not been for training purposes.

This is believed to be one of the sticking points in the investigation since it's very difficult for Croke Park to prove otherwise.

Wexford hurling joint captain Lee Chin said that a trip to Portugal was organised by the players "to have a bit of fun in each other's company". Ciarán Kilkenny and Michael Darragh Macauley explained that Dublin's trip to France had a historical dimension as they had visited various war memorials.

Irish Independent

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