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Kildare doc plans to ignore new sideline rule

KILDARE'S senior football team doctor has said he will openly contravene the GAA's new sideline regulations this weekend, claiming it would be a dereliction of his duty as a GP were he to sit in the stands, writes Frank Roche.

Under the new rule limiting the number of sideline personnel, only one medic is permitted on pitchside and most teams will invariably opt for their physio in such constricted circumstances.

But Danny Mulvihill, who is chairman of the Gaelic Games Doctors Association, won't abide by it when Kildare face All-Ireland champions Donegal in Croke Park next Saturday evening.

"I'll be on the pitch and I have been on the pitch so far for all our games this year. It's my intention to be on the pitch along with the physio as a team," Mulvihill was quoted as saying today.

"There is no way we would have agreed with it because we wouldn't be able to do our duty. We have a professional and ethical responsibility to look after players. This is interfering with our medical practice as it was established without any discussion or consultation," he added.

pGAA president Liam O'Neill has admitted that Munster's heavyweight hurling bloc swung last Saturday's Central Council vote in favour of the CCCC's proposal for a revamped All-Ireland senior hurling championship.

Delegates voted strongly in favour of the CCCC blueprint, which will see five 'developing' counties enter a Leinster qualifying group, in preference to a more radical Hurling Development Work Group plan that sought to play the two provincial championships on a home-and-away round robin basis.

"It would be a brave man that would dilute the Munster championship," O'Neill explained. "That's what swung it in the end -- the Munster counties were not going to allow that."