Monday 20 November 2017

Wexford chairman accuses GAA of 'making up rules as they go along'

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A leading Wexford official has accused the GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee of 'making the rules up as they go along'.

In response to the decision to relegate Wexford because they have an inferior points difference to Dublin (-10) after finishing on the same points in Div 1A, chairman Ger Doyle said he can no longer 'fathom what's going in the GAA'.

And in a separate verbal broadside, Wexford manager John Meyler suggested direct intervention from GAA president Nickey Brennan is in "the best interests of hurling.".

There had been strong indications that play-offs would be required in the division to decide placings, as scoring difference would not be applicable due to the original decision in February to give the points to Waterford and Kilkenny for their unplayed games with Cork. CCCC chairman Jimmy Dunne admitted as much as late as Monday.

But the CCCC yesterday decided that, under the terms of rule 116, Dublin were in fact entitled to survive without recourse to a play-off because those unplayed matches didn't directly affect them.

This has enraged Wexford who have already appealed against the decision to award Cork's opponents the points for those first and second round matches in football and hurling.

Ironically Waterford and Cork, who also finished level on six points, each must play-off to decide who finishes second and third in the group.

"I really can't fathom how one set of rules can apply for two teams at one end of the group, while a different set of rules apply at the other end," said Doyle.

"It's ridiculous. They are making this up as they go along.

"We have sought an explanation for this, we have asked what rule was applied when the points were given to Dublin's opponents.

"All we have been told in response is that it is mediation and arbitration at work. We're being trampled to death on this issue."

Meyler accepted that Wexford had got themselves in the situation in the first place by losing to Antrim. But he believes there is a case for the GAA president to get involved as four teams face the drop to Div 2.

"As a hurling man, (Nickey) Brennan has to stand up. I met him before and he knows what's going on in Wexford and what George O'Connor is trying to do so why can this happen? We know we're not good enough to compete with Kilkenny at the moment but we're not going to give up.

"Nickey should be looking after the best interests of hurling and counties like Antrim, Wexford, Laois and Offaly. And, for God's sake, look at reality. It's not about money and Cork and Kilkenny playing at Nowlan Park.

"That's not the only thing that matters, it's about promotion of the game.

"If you want to be critical, you can look at my record but this year, we've beaten Waterford and lost to Cork by two points. You'd have to accept that Kilkenny and Wexford, in the last couple of years, have been in different worlds altogether, we drew with Dublin so the nemesis game for us was Antrim.

"That was our own fault, but in the interests of fair play and the promotion of hurling and Wexford, how can Cork and Waterford play off with Wexford and Dublin just pushed aside?

"Certainly I would be calling on Nickey Brennan as president of the GAA to look at this. The hurling world is getting smaller and needs more teams in the top table, rather than pushing them out further by isolating and ostracising them."

Waterford spokesman Joe Cleary said their game with Cork at the Gaelic Grounds was 'meaningless' and suggested it won't draw a handful of people to Limerick.

"We would have preferred to toss a coin to decide it. Does it make a difference whether it's Limerick or Tipperary we are playing? It shouldn't take another match that is going to cost us so much to decide that."

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport