Ten counties facing rap for breaking GAA training camp rules - and could lose home advantage in league game
Ten counties are set to lose home advantage for one game in next year's Allianz Leagues, arising from breaches of the regulations on training camps and challenge games earlier in the season.
Several others faced investigation but were able to give satisfactory explanations. However, it's understood that ten admitted their squads either embarked on extended getaways or played challenge games, although not all conceded that rules were breached.
Fixtures for next year's leagues will be compiled shortly and while no formal sanctions have been announced yet, it's understood that they are imminent.
The high-profile overseas travellers were Dublin and Armagh footballers and Wexford hurlers. Wexford and Dublin players subsequently claimed at press events that their trips were for purposes other than training.
Wexford joint-captain Lee Chin said that their Portugal venture was organised by the players "to have a bit of fun in each other's company." Armagh footballers also travelled to Portugal.
Ciarán Kilkenny and Michael Darragh Macauley explained that Dublin's trip to France had a historical dimension as they had visited various war memorials.
Other counties undertook extended training camps in Ireland, which is also in violation of a rule which was endorsed at a special Congress last September.
Under the regulations, no training camps - at home or abroad - are allowed except in the ten days before a championship game. Challenge games are also banned except on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Both rules were introduced to provide more time for club programmes, especially in April and early May.
The training camp rule has been in place for a few years but was frequently ignored because it carried no sanction. Special Congress closed that loophole last September, adding a penalty whereby a county would forfeit one home game in the following year's Allianz League.
It was expected that county boards would ensure that the new regulations were upheld, but that has clearly not been the case this year.
'Home' league games taken away from counties next spring will be played at neutral venues.