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Saturday 3 December 2016

Duffy: Issue of replays must be looked at again

Pictured at the announcement of the Sport Ireland Field Sports Investment in Abbotstown were (l-r) Frances Kavanagh (Chair of Research Committee, Sport Ireland), GAA Ard Stiúrthoir Paraic Duffy, Kilkeny hurler Richie Hogan, Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD, Aogán Hourican, Kieran Mulvey (Chairman, Sport Ireland), Dr Úna May (Director of Participation and Ethics, Sport Ireland) and Patrick O’Connor (Board Member, Sport Ireland). Picture Credit: SPORTSFILE
Pictured at the announcement of the Sport Ireland Field Sports Investment in Abbotstown were (l-r) Frances Kavanagh (Chair of Research Committee, Sport Ireland), GAA Ard Stiúrthoir Paraic Duffy, Kilkeny hurler Richie Hogan, Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD, Aogán Hourican, Kieran Mulvey (Chairman, Sport Ireland), Dr Úna May (Director of Participation and Ethics, Sport Ireland) and Patrick O’Connor (Board Member, Sport Ireland). Picture Credit: SPORTSFILE

Paráic Duffy has admitted that the financial boon granted to provincial councils by replays "is the only reason you can give," not to eradicate them altogether from the Championship calendar.

The GAA's Director General said that Monaghan's Ulster semi-final replay with Donegal "was a factor," in their shock home defeat to Longford in the qualifiers just six days later and stressed that the Association "will have to revisit," the possibility of playing extra-time instead.

"I think they make fixture-making very difficult," Duffy explained.

"I think they create the kind of issues like where Monaghan played three weeks in-a-row, which is not a problem if you're winning all the time or if you're in a league competition but if you lose a major game like an Ulster final it is very hard to recover.

"Monaghan tried very hard, it wasn't the lack of effort or anything like that.

"I just feel if we are going to address this whole fixtures issue we'll have to revisit this.

"It is something we'll deal with at the end of summer again, I'm sure.

"I'm sure the Connacht and Ulster Councils will say thank God for replays because financially they're good.

"Personally, the financial reason is the only reason you can give.

"In terms of players, equity, rest and the fixtures programme, I think they (replays) are a problem."

Central Council put a motion to Congress in February to do away with replays and though it received a majority Yes vote, it failed to garner the two thirds support required to change a rule.

"Maybe this summer has emphasised the issue it does need to be looked at again and I'd like to see if we can get some kind of consensus on it," he went on.

"I think the only argument really and why it didn't carry last year was the financial one.

"I don't accept any of the rest of them the promotion value etc. It's the financial one. And I understand why provincial councils (would prefer the status quo) but I think in Croke Park at central level, we'd be prepared to forego them.

Value

"I think the provincial councils do value them and I understand that."

Duff also reiterated his view that simulation was "not a major problem" in Gaelic football, despite the furore over the penalty awarded to Mayo for an innocuous challenge on Aidan O'Shea in last Saturday's qualifier against Fermanagh.

"I think, in fairness, I suppose in soccer in particular it is almost accepted as part of the game. I don't think it is accepted as part of our games and people don't want to see that," Duffy pointed out.

"I think the reaction when there are instance of simulation as such, people do not want that in the game. I don't think there is a huge problem, but I do accept there are incidents from time to time."

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