Friday 14 December 2018

Donegal will take on Dublin in Croke Park as GAA throw out objection from Ulster champions

Donegal will play Dublin in Croke Park
Donegal will play Dublin in Croke Park

Sean McGoldrick

THE GAA has, as expected, rejected Donegal's protest against the scheduling of their Super 8s game against Dublin for Croke Park.

The match will now go ahead as scheduled on Saturday week with a 7pm throw-in at headquarters.

Following a meeting between GAA officials and members of the Donegal GAA Board today, the GAA agreed that Central Council would review the issues Donegal raised with a possibility that motions could be brought before next year's annual Congress for consideration..

Significantly, the statement also stressed that the structure of the new-look championship would remain unchanged.

Donegal were aggrieved that two of Dublin's three games in the Super 8 series would be played in Croke Park – which is essentially the All-Ireland champions' 'home venue'.

But delegates – including the Donegal delegation at the 2017 GAA Congress - had backed this proposal, so Donegal's protests were always likely to fall on deaf ears.

A joint statement issued by Croke Park and the Donegal Board stated: "The GAA has confirmed that a meeting between senior officials and members of the Donegal County Committee took place in Croke Park earlier today.

"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.

"Donegal also requested in light of the issues they highlighted, that a review of the first year of the new championship structures be held by Central Council later in the year and that all counties be invited to submit their observations in this context. It was agreed that the issues highlighted by Donegal would be considered as part of this process and that if Central Council collectively felt that non-structural changes to aspects of the Championship were required, that these could be put to Annual Congress in 2019 for consideration," the statement concluded.

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