GAA move to keep Dunne in check
WEXFORD MANAGER Liam Dunne will have to confine his ministrations to the sideline in tomorrow’s All-Ireland hurling qualifier match against Westmeath. Dunne wore the Maor Foirne (manager’s assistant, usually a selector) bib during the county’s defeat by Offaly in the Leinster quarter-final earlier this month and accessed the pitch to pass on instructions.
But in a clarification sent out to the counties yesterday from Croke Park, the GAA has moved to enforce stricter adherence to match-day regulations by forbidding managers to enter the field of play while wearing the identifying top of another member of the team’s official party.
“In no circumstance,” runs the communiqué, “other than where the Bainisteoir is suspended, banished from the pitch enclosure or is unable to attend the fixture, can the Bainisteoir top be worn by another member of the Official Team Party.
“In no circumstances, can the known Bainisteoir wear a Maor Foirne top and thus enter the field of play (see Section 6, Match Regulations). Penalties for breach of section 6 include exclusion from the pitch enclosure for one or more games.”
The letter also noted that penalties in respect of breaches would “be strictly applied” for the remainder of the championship.
Speaking about his initiative after the Offaly match, Dunne said: “From a manager’s point of view, it’s nearly impossible and I just said to myself that this was a way of communicating ... and sure it didn’t work.”
Croke Park also directed that team panels should be in keeping with the rules in relation to jersey numbering. Senior intercounty panels are allowed numbers one to 26. It has nonetheless become commonplace for teams to bring players numbered beyond 26 to matches and even to send them on to the field as replacements. This is not allowed except in the case of blood injuries.
Players not in the original match-day 26 who substitute team-mates listed to start must wear the jersey of the initially selected player. Breaches of these rules are subject to a fine of €700.