Sunday 18 November 2018

Four counties get 'home' ban for breaching training camp rules - but Dublin escape

Four counties – Armagh, Laois, Waterford and Wexford – are to have one home league game moved to a neutral venue next year after being found to have broken the training regulations before the start of this season’s championship. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Four counties – Armagh, Laois, Waterford and Wexford – are to have one home league game moved to a neutral venue next year after being found to have broken the training regulations before the start of this season’s championship. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Martin Breheny

Four counties - Armagh, Laois, Waterford and Wexford - are to have one home league game moved to a neutral venue next year after being found to have broken the training regulations before the start of this season's championship.

Laois, Waterford and Wexford are to fight the sanction and are angry over what they regard as selective treatment in an investigation that originally involved 17 counties.

Wexford (hurlers) and Armagh (footballers) travelled to Portugal while Waterford and Wexford went to venues in Ireland for weekend sessions, which Croke Park deemed to be in contravention of a rule covering championship training.

Squads are not permitted to embark on 'away' training weekends in the period after the league, except in the 10-day period before their first championship game.

The four sanctioned counties will appeal to the Central Hearings Committee, arguing that while they did engage in 'away' sessions, they did not break the rule. It was thought that Dublin might also face sanction after their footballers travelled to France during the prohibited period, but they insisted at the time that the trip did not involve training and was, in fact, a historical pursuit.

The investigating committee obviously accepted that explanation, which will further anger Wexford, who claimed that their trip was for bonding purposes only.

The claims by Wexford hurlers and Dublin footballers that their trips involved no training was regarded with scepticism but it appears to have been accepted in the latter's case.

Losing home advantage for their first league game would be a big setback for Wexford, who are due to host All-Ireland champions Limerick in Innovate Wexford Park on January 27.

Irish Independent

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