Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dublin selector Kennedy hit with four-week ban after bizarre incident against Kilkenny

 

As official ‘Maor Foirne, Kennedy was entitled to come on to the pitch during a break in play, but the CCCC ruled that the action had re-started. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
As official ‘Maor Foirne, Kennedy was entitled to come on to the pitch during a break in play, but the CCCC ruled that the action had re-started. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Gregory Kennedy has been banned for four weeks, arising from his dramatic on-field antics in Nowlan Park last Saturday.

The Dublin selector and 'maor foirne' sparked the first controversy of championship 2019 when he grabbed the ball from a TJ Reid free during the Leinster round-robin clash with Kilkenny.

Reid's intended target was Billy Ryan, but the former Galway corner-back, now working with Dublin manager Mattie Kenny, intercepted the pass, much the annoyance of the Kilkenny camp as it possibly prevented a goal opportunity.

Referee Cathal McAllister (Cork) took no action at the time.

As official 'Maor Foirne, Kennedy was entitled to come on to the pitch during a break in play, but the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) ruled that the action had re-started when Reid took the free.

It's understood that Kennedy is not challenging the ban, which means he will in the stands for Dublin's games against Wexford in Parnell Park on Sunday and against Carlow on June 2.

Willie Barrett, chairman of the National Referees' Development Committee, said that while he wouldn't comment on a specific case, encroachment on the pitch outside the clearly specified time was always unwelcome.

"A break in play is the only time when anyone can go on the field," he said.

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A designated 'maor foirne' is allowed to come on the pitch to deliver instructions during a break in play.

Meanwhile, the GAA has issued a stark 'zero tolerance' warning on head-high tackles, stating categorically that they will result in red cards in every case.

It comes as the championships gather momentum and players seek to push boundaries in pursuit of an advantage.

"It's all about duty of care, which is so important. Anything above the shoulders, we've instructed our referees clearly, both in hurling and football, to issue a red card for a deliberate challenge. It's an important health and safety matter for players," said Barrett.

In another development, the GAA has revealed that, so far this year, a total of 86 players and officials had suspensions proposed, of which 61 were accepted without challenge.

The other 25 took their case to the Central Hearings Committee, where 18 had the ban upheld, while seven were cleared.

Irish Independent

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