Thursday 20 September 2018

Unsatisfactory league finish could impact on 'Super 8s'

'The GAA can't be blamed for the bad weather but have drawn criticism from, among others, Waterford manager, Tom McGlinchey' Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
'The GAA can't be blamed for the bad weather but have drawn criticism from, among others, Waterford manager, Tom McGlinchey' Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

When the term 'null and void' is attached to fixtures, you think it refers to an unimportant competition. Not always, writes

The record for this year's Allianz Football League will show three Division 4 games (Waterford v Leitrim, Wicklow v Limerick, Laois v Antrim) declared null and void. It arises from the disruption caused by the two lost weekends in March and has angered some of those involved.

Croke Park wanted the games to go ahead either next weekend or, in the case of Laois v Antrim, a week later. That was rejected by the counties on the basis that they had fixed club games, as per the new arrangement where April is supposed to be free of inter-county activity (except for the Division 1 and 2 football finals).

Irritating

The GAA can't be blamed for the bad weather but have drawn criticism from, among others, Waterford manager, Tom McGlinchey and Limerick boss Billy Lee for their re-fixture plan. McGlinchey said that Waterford would be happy to concede home advantage and play Leitrim in Abbotstown (Dublin) in midweek later in the month but that wasn't acceptable to Croke Park. Wicklow and Limerick also proposed a midweek game.

Now, the games won't go ahead at all, which, apart from causing an immediate controversy, could come back to haunt Croke Park. What happens next August if some games in the final series of the 'Super 8' football round-robin have no relevance in deciding the semi-finalists?

Croke Park will insist that all games go ahead, even if a team which is out of contention has no interest in continuing. It will leave counties pointing to the league comparison where all games were not played.

Beware of precedent!

Irish Independent

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