Mickey Harte confirms Tyrone to appeal McCann ban

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By Francis Mooney

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has confirmed that Tiernan McCann is to seek a hearing into the proposed decision by the GAA’s CCCC to ban him for eight weeks.

The sanction was imposed as a result of McCann’s dive after his hair was ruffled by Monaghan’s Darren Hughes in the closing stages of last Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park.

Referee Marty Duffy subsequently issued a straight red card to Hughes.

“Obviously the county board are contesting it, and we’ll see where that takes us,” said Harte.

Asked during a press briefing at Tyrone’s Garvaghey GAA complex on Wednesday night whether he was surprised to hear of the development, he said: “I wouldn’t use surprise in this case. I’d use a different word, which is not as pleasant as surprise.”

The Central Competitions Control Committee is understood to have cited ‘misconduct that is considered to have discredited the Association’ for its decision to propose the ban.

If the punishment is upheld, McCann will miss the All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry on Sunday week, and should Tyrone win, he would also be ruled out of the final.

GAA pundit and barrister Joe Brolly has said the proposed eight-week suspension is unlawful, given that simulation is merely a yellow card offence under GAA rules.

Harte urged pundits and observers of the game to adopt a more positive approach when offering post-match analysis and recognise the quality and entertainment that teams at the top level provide for a worldwide audience.

“I always believe in life that you get more of what you look for. So if you want to look for negativity and hone in on that, then certainly you’ll get lots of it.

“But I would love to think that people would be more optimistic than that, more open-minded than that, and look for the good that’s in it.

“It’s typical of our game indeed in general, where you have lots of nit-picking going on, and fault-finders, and they think that’s their brief in life, and they don’t understand that there’s so much good about our games at the minute.

“Of course there’ll be faults, of course there’ll be things that aren’t what they ought to be. That’s life. As they say, nobody’s perfect. That’s what we’re faced with, so I wish people would just take the good that’s going on in our games, highlight that, and okay, acknowledge some things that could be done differently.

“We’ll all agree to that, but put the emphasis where it belongs, on the quality that’s there.”

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