GAA release statement on Croke Park meeting with Donegal
Donegal's Super 8s opener with Dublin next Saturday evening will remain at Croke Park following a meeting with the GAA on Thursday.
Donegal asked for a meeting with the GAA on Tuesday to seek clarification on how any county may use a ground as both a 'neutral' and 'home' venue with the first round of Super 8 games set to be played at Croke Park later this month.
In this summer's Super 8s the two provincial champions meet and the two qualifiers meet in Croke Park in the first round. In phase two the round four qualifier teams have home advantage and the provincial winners are at home in phase three of the series.
The GAA acknowledged Donegal's challenge on how a team, namely their opening round opponents Dublin, could play two games at Croke Park but the association also insisted that there was 'nothing in Rule' to prohibit a team from playing two games at headquarters.
The GAA said in a joint statement between the association and the Donegal county board:
"The GAA has confirmed that a meeting between Senior officials and members of the Donegal County Committee took place in Croke Park earlier today.
"It was accepted as part of these discussions, that the rules in relation to the new All Ireland SFC Quarter Final Round Robin system had been democratically adopted at Congress 2017 and that these provided for all Round 1 games to be played at Croke Park and each county to subsequently have one home and one away game.
"While Donegal challenged how any team could nominate Croke Park as their home venue, it was acknowledged that there was nothing in Rule to prohibit this.
"Donegal also requested in light of the issues they highlighted, that a review of the first year of the new championship structures be held by Central Council later in the year and that all counties be invited to submit their observations in this context.
"It was agreed that the issues highlighted by Donegal would be considered as part of this process and that if Central Council collectively felt that non-structural changes to aspects of the Championship were required, that these could be put to Annual Congress in 2019 for consideration."
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 3, 2018
Dublin have not lost a championship game at headquarters since the 2014 championship and Gaa Hour host Colm Parkinson wrote in his SportsJOE column on Tuesday that it's not fair that Dublin can play at Croke Park twice while every other team in the championship is permitted to just one home match.
"The decision to give Dublin, the best team in the country, two home games in the Super 8’s is shocking," wrote Parkinson.
"It’s a decision based on money and could not have been made in the interest of fairness to players, which all governing bodies should ensure for their competitions.
"Since Dublin started playing their home league games in Croke Park it’s just impossible to argue that it’s not their home ground. It’s their home ground for the league after all. Are we supposed to believe it’s not for the championship?
"They play in Croke Park more than any other county plays in their own home ground. It’s home advantage. That’s a fact."