Sport GAA

Monday 16 July 2018

GAA Congress to tackle venue row in 2019

Gaelic Games

Donegal met with GAA officials yesterday to discuss their concerns. (stock picture)
Donegal met with GAA officials yesterday to discuss their concerns. (stock picture)
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA's Congress in 2019 is likely to consider a motion that prevents any team from playing two Croke Park games in any future All-Ireland football quarter-final series.

The GAA have promised to conduct a review of the first year of the new championship format which has been introduced for a three-year trial period. Central to that review will be the current facility for Dublin to play a 'home' game in Croke Park as well as one of the pre-ordained quarter-finals in Croke Park.

Under current rule, each participating county plays a game in Croke Park and one each at home and away. But an anomaly over what home venue constitutes for Dublin, who have played all their 'home' league matches in Croke Park since 2011, has been officially highlighted by Donegal this week.

Whether a motion comes from Central Council or from Donegal, who have raised this issue ahead of their quarter-final with Dublin in Croke Park, is unclear.

Donegal met with GAA officials yesterday to discuss their concerns, among them that provincial champions don't get a home game until the third and last round.

A change to this to reward provincial champions with an earlier home game may also be made.

Donegal have accepted that they will be playing Dublin in Croke Park, according to a joint statement issued by the GAA .

"It was accepted as part of these discussions, that the rules in relation to the new All Ireland SFC quarter-final round-robin system had been democratically adopted at Congress 2017 and that these provided for all Round 1 games to be played at Croke Park and each county to subsequently have one home and one away game.

"While Donegal challenged how any team could nominate Croke Park as their home venue, it was acknowledged that there was nothing in rule to prohibit this."

Current Donegal manager Declan Bonner and previous manager Jim McGuinness had both suggested Dublin should not be entitled to play two Croke Park games in the series because it wasn't a level playing field.

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