Monday 11 December 2017

Donegal captain Michael Murphy believes pre-game parades could be scrapped

Both Armagh and Cavan teams involved in an incident as they lined up behind the band in the pre-match parade
Both Armagh and Cavan teams involved in an incident as they lined up behind the band in the pre-match parade

After the violence that marred the pre-game parade during Armagh's Ulster quarter-final victory over Cavan, Michael Murphy has said that the tradition could be scrapped to avoid similar incidents.

There were ugly scenes as Armagh lined up behind the Cavan flag, which was being carried by the St Michael’s Scout Band, and a flashpoint developed.

Ordinarily the home team lines up closest to the stand but the flags were in the wrong position sparking the row which saw Cavan's star forward Martin Dunne suffer an arm injury which is expected to sideline him for a month.

Michael Murphy told Sky Sports that the pre-game parade could be jettisoned: “It wouldn’t be too bad, one way or the other,” said Murphy. “Is it needless? It’s just a tradition, and whether you can speak out much against tradition I don’t know.

“I suppose it may add to the whole general spectacle as such. But it’s a funny one and an individual preference, really.

“There are so many different things before a game now. You go out early, get through your warm-up, which is needed, then there’s the whole thing of the toss, the parade, the national anthem, and maybe the minute’s silence, which tends to be in nearly every game at the moment.

“It’s different with the club, where you play the game straight away, and you get used to that as well. If that’s the case with the county I’d be happy enough with that too.

“I suppose you’re out on the pitch, for 20 or 30 minutes before the game. I’m sure both teams that went out on Sunday were focused on carrying out their plan, and execute the game plan.

“But football and hurling throws up things that you really can’t plan for. It’s how you react as individuals and how you react as a team, and what your principles are.”

The GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee has requested all the available video evidence before deciding on what day they will convene this week to commence their probe into the row.

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