The GAA have changed their stance on unauthorised County training
The GAA have played their hand and laid it on the line to counties that failing to adhere to County training protocols could result in serious penalties including suspensions and even disqualification from championships.
In a letter from Croke Park to GAA clubs around the country, the GAA have set out their stall and in the letter have included that An Coiste Bainisitíochta reserves the right to pursue the matter in accordance with Riail 7.2 (e) "Misconduct Considered to have Discredited the Association".
Rule 7.2 (e) can bring severe punishment and should make any potential offenders think twice about their actions.
Rule 7.2 (e) states, "This shall include breaches of Rule 1.12 Official Guide Part 1, and Rules 5.33 (Hurling) and 5.29 (Football) Aggressive Fouls, Playing Rules, Official Guide Part 2.
"Penalties: Member - A minimum 8 weeks suspension. Debarment and Expulsion from the Association may also be considered.
"Team/Unit - Where suspension is deemed appropriate - a minimum of 8 weeks. Expulsion from the Association, Disqualification, a Fine, Deduction of Points in League Competitions (not Championship) may also be considered".
Clubs received the correspondence late last night by email and it comes after a number of high profile managers and officials including Laois managers Eddie Brennan and Mike Quirke criticised the GAA's original laissez faire attitude to counties who broke the ruling from Croke Park and began collective training again before September 14.
The email included the following under the heading 'Inter County Training'
"In light of some of the challenges posed by a very different fixture schedule this year, a discussion involving the GAA President, Director General and our county chairpersons took place last Friday.
"The sole purpose of this call was to address anything that would undermine our clubs having full access to their players in the window we have identified for club activity this summer.
"Our County Chairpersons have agreed to assist us in ensuring that these arrangements are observed in an effort to preserve the integrity of the club window and ensure a common starting point and a level playing field for county teams. Individually and collectively, it was agreed that every county will commit to facilitating full availability of club players for the period and, specifically, that inter-county training will not take place before September 14th.
"Additionally, it was re-affirmed that there will be no GAA Player Injury Scheme cover or expenses in place for inter-county training until that date. In the event of any breach of the above it was agreed that our current rules will provide the basis for sanctions where appropriate.
"In that context, all of our units are reminded of the following:
"The holding of collective training sessions at inter-county level before September 14th 2020 will be considered by An Coiste Bainistíochta a direct contravention of Association policy and as such will be dealt with under the disciplinary processes of the Association.
"If a club has a grievance in relation to the availability of their County players, or feel a County team in their County are holding collective training sessions before September 14th, they are encouraged to submit a formal complaint to Croke Park.
"Any such correspondence must come from the official Secretary email address of the club. The County in question will be forwarded the correspondence and asked to respond to the issues raised within 48 hours of receipt.
"An Coiste Bainisitíochta reserves the right to pursue the matter in accordance with Riail 7.2 (e) "Misconduct Considered to have Discredited the Association".