GPA finally weigh in on Kildare debacle
The GPA have issued their response.
Kildare's defiance is the talk of the GAA world right now and the GPA have finally responded to the matter.
The Lillywhites were drawn first for their round three football qualifier against Mayo. According to the rules, the team that gets pulled out of the bowl first should have home advantage. However, during Monday's draw it was announced that the fixture would take place in Croke Park this Saturday 30 June. As will the qualifier between Cavan and Tyrone.
Kildare issued a statement essentially saying 'Newbridge or nowhere,' while Cian O'Neill appeared on RTE News to back this statement up. The GPA are standing behind Kildare as they announced in a statement released on Monday evening.
GPA Statement in full
"The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) is today calling on the GAA to immediately reinstate the Kildare versus Mayo Round 3 Qualifier game to the original fixture for Saturday evening at 7pm in St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge.
It is unclear why the GAA is not sticking to its original decision* that the first team drawn would have home advantage. The GAA decision to move this game from its original venue of St. Conleth’s Park to Croke Park is unacceptable. Not alone is it unfair to the Kildare team but it is also unfair on the Mayo football panel who are now expected to make alternative travel arrangements having understood that the game was fixed for Newbridge.
Changing the rules with regard to match venues at the 11th hour without any regard to the players affected is not fair or reasonable. Players deserve better and the GAA should respect their own rules in this regard.
*As outlined on the GAA website on Friday 22nd June, “The first team drawn will have home advantage - exception: a Division 3 or 4 team from the current year's Allianz league drawn against a Div 1 or 2 team will have home advantage”