Wednesday 21 February 2018

Wexford weigh up appeal over Davy Fitz eight-week ban

Model fury at eight-game suspension as Tipp seek hearing after Forde lands two-game ban

Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald tussles with Tipperary's Jason Forde. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald tussles with Tipperary's Jason Forde. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Wexford could reveal today whether they will appeal the eight-week ban handed down to hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald, while Tipperary have already indicated that they will seek a hearing on the two-game suspension slapped on Jason Forde arising from the pair's clash in Nowlan Park last weekend.

News of Forde's ban came through late last night. He has been charged with a category IV infraction, namely 'any type of assault on an opposing team official' but Tipp have already made it clear they will be seeking a hearing.

With the CHC not expected to convene until next week, unless called otherwise to do so, the Silvermines man is free to play against Galway in this weekend's Allianz League final and he is set to be named in the starting team when it is released tonight.

Meanwhile, Wexford's top brass indicated that they were looking to put together a team to look into the circumstances surrounding Fitzgerald's suspension and the likely success of any possible appeal, with one source indicating yesterday that a call would be made inside the next 24-48 hours.

It was confirmed yesterday that he would serve an eight-week ban, which would rule him out of Wexford's opening Leinster Championship clash against one of the sides that emerges from the province's round-robin system, as well as a potential provincial semi-final showdown with Kilkenny in Wexford Park on June 10.

As it stands, Fitzgerald's proposed suspension is set to come to an end just hours after that game.

Meanwhile, former Wexford chairman Diarmuid Devereux, who helped appoint Fitzgerald, has called for "leniency" for the Clare native.

While accepting that Fitzgerald had fallen foul of the rule book, Devereux, who stepped down after five years as county chair, took aim at the "nastiness in GAA punditry".

"The bottom line is there is a breach of rule committed by the manager which he admitted, and the matter should have been left to the CCCC to deal with, and not summarily dealt with by GAA pundits in the media, radio and television, before Davy Fitzgerald had a chance to defend himself with the proper disciplinary committee," he said.

"On the basis he admitted his breach of rule, the penalty should be revisited and leniency and mercy should be shown the man.

"Nastiness in GAA punditry is now becoming the norm and is dragging our Association down to the ground, and the treatment of Davy Fitzgerald by some pundits and appeals of some of these people to have his career destroyed is shocking in the extreme.

"People outside Wexford need to take note that hurling supporters down here and the ordinary GAA people are 100pc behind Davy Fitzgerald and appreciate in no small way the difference he has made to Wexford hurling in the last six months.

"Now it's up to Wexford supporters to come out and support Davy Fitzgerald, support him through the personal attacks being made on him, and see him through this.

"The punishment does not fit the crime on the basis of being tried and found guilty in public."

Irish Independent

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