Saturday 20 October 2018

'Unacceptable' to cancel games without talking to players - GPA

 

"The GPA will continue to meet with GAA representatives to make the case that such unilateral decisions are unacceptable and must not be repeated in future." (stock picture)

Donnchadh Boyle and Colm Keys

Following a chorus of criticism from several managers, the GPA has added its voice to the growing anger over the cancellation of National League fixtures.

The players' body last night hit out at the lack of consultation with their membership before the decision to cancel outstanding Division 4 football matches was made by Croke Park.

A statement from the players' body insisted players were "angry" at the decision which means they will not play their full schedule of matches.

"The GPA have been working closely in recent days with the teams involved and we were very disappointed that the players were not asked for their input before the games were cancelled," GPA president David Collins said.

"We appreciate that the county boards are under pressure and that adverse weather conditions have complicated the inter-county fixture planner, but there is no excuse for not consulting players before announcing the cancellations. These cancellations will cause significant disruption to teams who are preparing for the championship.

Unilateral

"The GPA will continue to meet with GAA representatives to make the case that such unilateral decisions are unacceptable and must not be repeated in future. Open dialogue with players is a far superior approach to handling situations like this."

Meanwhile, Wicklow official Anthony Nolan and Tyrone's Seán Hurson will take charge of the main Allianz football League finals this weekend as the GAA continue to expose less experienced referees to higher profile games.

Nolan will take charge of the Division 1 final between Dublin and Galway and can count on the experiences of being 'man in the middle' for last year's Leinster football final between Dublin and Kildare and the All-Ireland minor final between Kerry and Derry.

He officiated at the fractious Galway/Mayo game in Pearse Stadium in February and was also in charge of the last weekend's Mayo/Donegal relegation clash.

Hurson will be the Division 2 final referee when Roscommon meet Cavan in Sunday's curtain-raiser (2.0), despite the involvement of his fellow county man Mattie McGleenan who is Cavan manager.

Last year Dublin manager Jim Gavin was critical of the appointment of less experienced referees for big games, citing the 2017 league final as an example when Roscommon's Paddy Neilan was in charge, suggesting "there should be a better methodology of giving our top-class up-and-coming referees exposure." Nolan comes with more experience however.

Irish Independent

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