GAA president: Every game has to follow same rules

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By John Fogarty

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail says involving Dublin’s Davy Byrne and an Armagh player in a recent challenge game must be investigated the same as if it happened in a competition match.

As the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) open an inquiry into the injuries sustained by Byrne in Glasnevin last Thursday week following a Jim Gavin interview, Ó Fearghail criticised the idea of “local arrangements” being implemented in challenge games.

The CCCC’s interest was triggered by Gavin’s admission last week that Byrne, who suffered a broken nose, and the player had a “frank” exchange.

The George Cartwright-led group are likely to ask Gavin to explain his recollection of the incident as well as scrutinise referee Fergal Kelly’s report and any video evidence available.

Ó Fearghail anticipates the CCCC will carry out a rigorous investigation.”You can’t have local arrangements and you can’t have a situation where something happens and ‘we think it happened, we’re not sure it happened’. I wouldn’t have any belief in that. I think our system is quite strong on the principles of investigative procedures and I expect it to happen.”

As a game that was given the go-ahead by the CCCC, Ó Fearghail said it is subject to the same regulations as a regular season match.

“I think every game that is played, whether it is an All-Ireland final or a parish game, a club game, a challenge game or whatever, every game is governed by the same rules, every game is governed by the same principles.

“And when incidents happen at any game I don’t interfere with the day-to-day running of how games are organised. But I certainly have a view that every game has to be followed by the same rules, the same principles and when an incident occurs, if it occurs, it should be investigated in the exact same way for all games, no difference.”