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Flouting of rules not likely to be punished

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'Following a conference Zoom call last week with county chairpersons, some were reported to have admitted that their counties were breaking the rules' (stock image)

'Following a conference Zoom call last week with county chairpersons, some were reported to have admitted that their counties were breaking the rules' (stock image)

SPORTSFILE

'Following a conference Zoom call last week with county chairpersons, some were reported to have admitted that their counties were breaking the rules' (stock image)

The chances of inter-county teams being sanctioned for breaking the rules around collective training seems virtually non-existent given the mechanism required to implement it.

A number of counties that had been meeting up for collective training have now temporarily halted activities as the issue came under serious scrutiny over the last 10 days since senior GAA stated a punishment would be set in place for those that flouted the rules.

Some counties had pods of players meeting up to do weights sessions, but others were in the middle of full-scale collective training with full contact.

Concerns were raised when some players were unable to take part in club activities after heavy training loads.

That attitude has now changed and it is believed that if counties return to training before the agreed start date of September, they can be reported for doing so.

Breaking

Following a conference Zoom call last week with county chairpersons, some were reported to have admitted that their counties were breaking the rules.

It is thought that up to eight counties are under suspicion for doing so.

If such cases can be firmed up, the sanctions could apply in the form of suspensions to the county chairpersons or team managers.

How the cases are dealt with will, however, make it very difficult to level any related charges.

Club secretaries are being encouraged to send an email to Croke Park, detailing precisely when, where and how an inter-county training session has taken place.

In essence, with the burden of proof falling on those making the accusation, the chances of successfully prosecuting a county are minuscule.

If officials are serious about imposing a penalty, then asking club volunteers to effectively tell tales about their own club people seems an odd way to go about things.