Tuesday 20 February 2018

GAA set to clamp down on player exodus to United States

GAA Director general Paraic Duffy
GAA Director general Paraic Duffy
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

THE GAA are to take steps to stem the flow of inter-county players heading to the United States to play football.

Louth, Laois, Leitrim and Offaly are among the squads who have been decimated by players leaving to play in America this summer after their provincial championship exits. Indeed, only last weekend, Longford boss Glenn Ryan hit out at players from other counties who have left before the qualifiers started.

Director general Paraic Duffy (above) has indicated that the Association would seek to extend regulations – which already exist in North America but do not apply to New York – that non-students, who have been involved in a senior championship match in Ireland, cannot subsequently play competitive football in New York the same season.

How such a move would sit with inter-county players in the current economic climate remains to be seen.

Duffy believes travelling to the States is part of the student experience and does not want to limit travel in this regard.

CONTROVERSY

"Last year there was a lot of controversy after Armagh were beaten in the championship. A number of Armagh players went to New York and played in the championship," he said.

"Central Council was very unhappy with that and management proposed to Central Council that the rule which applies in North America – that only students can play – should be extended to New York.

"The New York board asked us not to do that. They said they would police the system themselves and it would not happen again. But it has happened again.

"The Central Council met last Saturday fortnight and took a decision on a recommendation of management to bring a motion to Congress next year to extend the rule so that it relates to New York as well."

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) could not be contacted for comment last night.

Meanwhile, the GAA have confirmed that tickets for Saturday's hurling qualifier between Kilkenny and Tipperary at Nowlan Park have sold out.

Irish Independent

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