Friday 18 January 2019

Tipp manager Liam Kearns fumes over Munster fixture call

Tipp manager feels integrity of provincial championship damaged by schedule change

Tipperary manager Liam Kearns. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Tipperary manager Liam Kearns. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tipperary football manager Liam Kearns has hit out at what he feels is the "compromising of the integrity of the Munster Football Championship" after the provincial body fixed them to potentially play on back-to-back weekends because of clashes with hurling championship.

Kearns is seething over Tipperary being fixed to play Cork in a Munster semi-final on Saturday, May 26, eight days earlier than originally scheduled, if they beat Waterford in their quarter-final, on Saturday, May 19.

It had been due to go ahead on Sunday, June 2 in Thurles but with the Waterford and Tipperary playing in the hurling championship in Limerick, the Munster Council sought change to avoid a potential clash.

Saturday was ruled out because Cork are playing Limerick that evening in Páirc Uí Chaoimh while both counties did not want it to go ahead on the Bank Holiday Monday because of the wait players would have over the weekend.

The following weekend was also unacceptable to the counties so without agreement Munster CCC fixed it for Saturday, May 26. Kearns said the change puts Tipperary at a disadvantage against Cork if they beat Waterford but feels the bigger issue is the integrity of the competition.

"We are now the only team in the country being asked to play two provincial football matches in seven days, if the situation arises," he said. "The Competition Controls Committee, the very name suggests that their very function is to protect the integrity of the competition and, in my view, this decision has blatantly failed to do that."

Kearns said no Tipperary representatives will attend the upcoming launch of the Munster championships in protest.

Munster chairman Jerry O'Sullivan said they were left with no option but to fix the game as they did after the counties failed to find agreement on a date.

The Gaelic Players Association have also been in touch with the GAA on the issue, expressing player concern at the potential imbalance.

Irish Independent

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