Wednesday 18 September 2019

GAA declares ban on foreign training camps from next year


Stock photo: Sportsfile
Stock photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The GAA is to ban overseas training for county squads and will also impose a restriction on the duration of home-based camps.

The crackdown will apply from next year on and follows a series of controversies in recent seasons.

Armagh and Laois footballers both lost home advantage for one game in this season's Allianz League as punishment for breaking the rules on training camps last year.

Armagh travelled to Portugal while Laois went to Kerry. Both were deemed to have broken the rule because the camps were held outside the permitted time.

Armagh, who have failed to win a first-round Ulster game since 2014, are in Portugal again this week, but are not in breach of the rule, having received clearance from the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC).

Dublin footballers, who travelled to France, and Wexford hurlers, who went to Portugal, escaped sanction last year after insisting that their trips did not include training.

The explanations were treated with scepticism across the wider GAA but the investigating committee were unable to take any action due to a lack of proof. Armagh and Laois both admitted the offences, although both counties argued they had fulfilled the requirement for club games.

Congress amended the relevant rule this year, making it mandatory for counties to receive permission from the CCCC to undertake extended training camps either at home or abroad.

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CCCC decided that permission would be granted in cases where counties gave a guarantee to have four weekends free for club activity between the end of the league and the opening championship game.

However, in a more sweeping move, permission will not be granted for overseas trips from 2020 on.

There will also be a limit on home-based camps, which cannot be longer than three days.

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