Sunday 25 February 2018

GAA fury at 'Sunday Game' over coverage of Fitzgerald incident

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA have been in contact with RTE to register Croke Park's disapproval with the segment on 'The Sunday Game' that featured Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald firing expletives at a Waterford player during the Munster hurling semi-final last Sunday.

The contact was initiated by officials in the GAA who expressed their disappointment at the singling out of an amateur in such a way. It was not prompted by representatives of Clare County Board.

Croke Park are conscious that they can't be seen to be complaining to the broadcaster over every element of content, but on this occasion they felt that words of disapproval were merited.

In the segment, Fitzgerald was picked up shouting out to a Waterford player that he had "two All-Ireland medals and you have f**k all."

The nature of Fitzgerald's comment was passed off by 'The Sunday Game' panel as a reflection of what happens in the heat of the moment in these situations.

But the GAA believes Fitzgerald was unfairly treated by the clip which began with him pleading for a line ball to be given Clare's way.

Croke Park discusses broadcasting issues with RTE, as they do with other broadcasting partners, on a regular basis.

By raising the issue of Fitzgerald's sideline comments they clearly believe that the station has crossed a line.

Croke Park sources say the registering of disapproval with the station is not an effort to lay down a marker for future content, but there is a concern that different standards may be applied to different sports.

Last Sunday's match was a heated affair with Fitzgerald patrolling the sideline against some of his old Waterford charges.

At the end of the game, Waterford player John Mullane slid to his knees in celebration right in front of Fitzgerald, while the Clare manager was on the receiving end of remarks from a Waterford player when he went to address and congratulate them in the dressing-room afterwards.

Irish Independent

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