GAA

GPA Call On GAA To Back Down As Kildare Croke Park Controversy Builds

GPA Call On GAA To Back Down As Kildare Croke Park Controversy Builds

The backlash against the GAA's decision to take home advantage away from Kildare continues as the GPA have come out and called for the game to be played at St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge.

Earlier today, it was announced that the Cavan vs Tyrone and Kildare vs Mayo round 3 football qualifiers will be held in Croke Park next Saturday, 30th June at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively. In the aftermath, the Kildare county board and manager Cian O'Neill slammed the decision, while players took to Twitter to voice their disproval.

Now the Gaelic Players Association have released a statement also criticising the GAA for the call.

It is unclear why the GAA is not sticking to its original decision* that the first team drawn would have home advantage. The GAA decision to move this game from its original venue of St. Conleth’s Park to Croke Park is unacceptable. Not alone is it unfair to the Kildare team but it is also unfair on the Mayo football panel who are now expected to make alternative travel arrangements having understood that the game was fixed for Newbridge.

Changing the rules with regard to match venues at the 11th hour without any regard to the players affected is not fair or reasonable. Players deserve better and the GAA should respect their own rules in this regard.

*As outlined on the GAA website on Friday 22nd June, “The first team drawn will have home advantage - exception: a Division 3 or 4 team from the current year's Allianz league drawn against a Div 1 or 2 team will have home advantage.

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Feargal McGill, the GAA’s director of games administration told the Irish Times the GAA would not be backing down: "The game has been fixed for 7pm in Croke Park, and that is not going to change under any circumstances."

We fully appreciate where Kildare are coming from. We don’t take home venue off of a team lightly. However, health and safety has to come first. It’s that simple. The last thing we wanted to do was take this out of Newbridge, but we simply had no choice. There is no room for manoeuvre, not when it comes to health and safety. If Kildare don’t show up in Croke Park on Saturday at 7.0pm the game will be awarded to Mayo.

Tickets for the game have already gone online, with prices reflecting the fact that it is a double-header.

SEE ALSO: Defiant Kildare Release Statement Refusing To Play In Croke Park 

Maurice Brosnan

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