Wednesday 13 December 2017

Zero tolerance as GAA vow to get tough on racism

Former Cork hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín has spoken in the past about racism in the GAA
Former Cork hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín has spoken in the past about racism in the GAA
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

THE GAA's war on racism will be ratcheted up this year, with offenders facing instant dismissal during a game, followed by a minimum eight-week ban.

The get tough policy will be in place for the provincial and All-Ireland championships, provided Congress approves the wording of the new rule next month.

Incidents of racism were previously dealt with under 'abusive language' or 'bringing the Association into disrepute' headings but will now be catered for specifically.

The motion will be proposed by the Playing Rules Standing Committee and is expected to meet with unanimous approval.

GAA bosses believe that tougher measures will send out a clear signal that acts of racism will not be tolerated.

Even if racist comments are not picked up by the referee or his officials during the game, the aggrieved party can complain later and have the case investigated.

The racism proposal is one of 63 motions that will go before Congress. Another proposal attempts to restrict the summer exodus of inter-county players to New York.

This has been on the increase in recent years but will be confined to J1 students only if the Central Council motion is passed.

There have been complaints over the loss of top players to New York within days of being knocked out of the qualifiers.

Congress will also consider a proposal to apply match bans, rather than time bans, for suspensions involving club players. Match bans currently apply at inter-county level.

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