Tuesday 22 October 2019

Dublin to be forced out of Croke Park for 'neutral' game

Super 8s overhaul also includes proposals aimed at reducing prospect of dead rubbers

A general view of Croke Park from the All-Ireland senior championship final replay at the weekend. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
A general view of Croke Park from the All-Ireland senior championship final replay at the weekend. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin are in line to play just one of their Super 8s games in Croke Park next summer.

This follows confirmation that Central Council will be supporting proposals to allow the Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) to fix games in the 'Croke Park' round for neutral venues.

Under current rule, one of the rounds, featuring clashes between the four provincial champions, must be played at Croke Park.

With the All-Ireland champions retaining the liberty to play their home game in Croke Park, it has allowed them to play two games in the series without having to leave the capital.

This has caused some disquiet, prompting an unsuccessful Donegal motion to Congress earlier in the year to cease use of Croke Park as a 'home' venue.

But now Central Council has decided to address the issue itself and a motion will go before Congress next February.

It is still envisaged that the majority of games earmarked for neutral venues will take place in Croke Park, either as second or third phase games, depending on when provincial champions and qualifiers go head to head.

Ironically, Leinster Council will vote later this month to give their provincial football champions a bye into semi-final every year - a scenario that would most likely keep Dublin in Croke Park for their 2020 programme of provincial championship games.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

Another potential change to the Super 8s could see the winners and losers of the games in round one play each other in round two in a bid to reduce the prospect of 'dead rubbers' where counties are out of the competition or have already qualified for semi-finals before their third game in the quarter-final series.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport