'Why should it be different for Cork?'
'If this was Roscommon, Mayo or Leitrim, they'd have been thrown out' -- Maughan
ROSCOMMON boss John Maughan has branded the GAA decision to award Dublin and Meath the League points arising from the Cork strike "an absolute disgrace".
And as the fall-out continues, Monaghan counterpart Seamus McEnaney has expressed surprise that Meath and Dublin are happy to accept the walkovers.
Maughan believes that Cork are being afforded special treatment after missing the first two rounds in Division 2 and claims that awarding points to Dublin and Meath for games they didn't play will completely distort the final table.
"If this were Roscommon, Mayo or Leitrim or indeed many others, they would have been thrown out. Why is it different for Cork? And when they were allowed to stay in, how can it be fair that Meath and Dublin get points from walkovers, while five other teams have to play Cork," said Maughan.
McEnaney said that all games should be decided on the pitch and he was shocked to learn that Meath and Dublin were prepared to accept the points for the unplayed Cork games. "I'm very disappointed that counties like Meath and Dublin, who are held in such esteem, would take points in these circumstances. Could they not offer to re-fix the games with Cork at their convenience, maybe even in midweek?
"Meath were due to have home venue anyway and Dublin should get it too so why couldn't they play those games in midweek rather than having a training session? Who wants points if you don't play for them," said McEnaney.
Armagh manager Peter McDonnell said that if Armagh had been due to play Cork in either of their first two games, they would have facilitated a re-fixture later on.
"It's not about picking up points as if in a Lottery. What happened in Cork was unfortunate but we're all GAA people so there should be a degree of flexibility now that they're back in the fold. From an Armagh perspective, I would not want points for a game we didn't play. How much better off would we be in real terms by finishing higher up the table through points we didn't earn on the pitch," he said.
Maughan argues that it's most unfair on a county like Roscommon to make them play for points against Cork while Dublin and Meath, the two pre-League favourites for promotion, were awarded them. "This is a young squad which is in a critical stage of its development. It will take at least five points to give us a decent chance of staying up but we now find that Meath, whom we drew with last Sunday, and Dublin have been handed two points already. It's plain wrong."
Maughan said that Meath cited a possible fixtures pile-up as a reason why the Cork game couldn't be re-fixed but pointed out that Roscommon could face an equally hectic schedule. Their U-21s are due to play Galway in the Connacht championship on March 29, while the seniors play Westmeath in the League the following day.
And if Roscommon win the U-21 game, they're due out again the following Sunday week while the seniors are away to Dublin on the previous night. "We're trying to build in Roscommon but when you see how unfairly we -- and others -- have been treated as a result of the Cork strike, it makes you wonder what the GAA is about. To make matters worse, Cork were fined a miserable €400 per game for missing the start of the League.
"Roscommon were fined the same amount last year because two of the hurling selectors stood with the manager on the sideline during a Division 3 League game against Tyrone. Does that equate with missing a League game?" said Maughan, whose side will be first to play Cork on Sunday week.