Sunday 17 December 2017

'I'm disappointed by the vindictiveness' - Liam Griffin 'disturbed' by criticism levelled at Davy Fitzgerald by former players

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald with Jason Forde of Tipperary and Aidan Nolan of Wexford during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald with Jason Forde of Tipperary and Aidan Nolan of Wexford during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final match between Wexford and Tipperary at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

All-Ireland-winning manager Liam Griffin has claimed to have been 'disturbed' by the way some former players have reaction to Davy Fitzgerald's pitch incursion against Tipperary last weekend.

There has been a clamour in the media since the incident with ex-players calling on the book to be thrown at Fitzgerald.

The GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee imposed an eight-week ban on the Wexford boss today, which would mean he would be missing from the sideline for their opening Leinster championship fixture and a potential provincial semi-final against Kilkenny on June 10.

He was punished for tangling with two Tipperary players after entering the field of play to remonstrate with the referee, following the Premier county's second goal.

While Griffin believes Fitzgerald was wrong to come onto the pitch, he believes there has been an overreaction to the incident.

"I do agree that the GAA have no alternative but to deal with Davy and give him a suspension but I don't think any game should get sanitised," he told Game On on RTE 2FM.

"Davy is a character and I think hurling needs characters but they can't go outside the rules of the game and unfortunately Davy did and he'll be suspended for it.

"I think the severity of it is a bit much. I think a yellow card is appropriate and he should get some form of suspension but not for eight weeks, and he should be warned that the next time he does it, he'll get more than eight weeks.

"I'm a bit disturbed by the amount of people and ex-players who are really putting the boot into Davy for the last couple of days.

"That's disappointing because these fellas know, as I know, that we've all been involved in incident like this. Does that make it right? Of course it doesn't make it right.

"I am disappointed by the vindictiveness of some people towards a man who is bringing so much to hurling, that they want him suspended... and that is overly biased.

"I might be overly-biased on the other side because I'm from Wexford but this was all a consequence (of a refereeing error).

"I'm sure the GAA have done this by the book but I would call for calm and give him a rap across the knuckles.

"I do think they should look at it and say eight weeks is a bit harsh, give him four weeks and say that the next time, he'll get 12.

"I think that would be something more measured.

"I wouldn't like to sanitise our game to be politically correct beyond measure because the country as gone that far that we don't want gaelic games to follow it.

"That doesn't mean that we shouldn't have order in it. It should be chaotic but it should be controlled chaos."

There has been no indication that the Tipperary players involved in the incident will be dealt with by the CCCC.

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