GAA open investigation into ‘unsightly’ tunnel incident

Dublin and Mayo players clashed while entering the field for Sunday’s All-Ireland final

The GAA have confirmed that they are investigating an incident involving Mayo and Dublin players as the two teams entered the field for Sunday's All-Ireland football final.

A delay in the Dublin team leaving their dressing room and taking to the pitch resulted in both teams entering the field at the same time - with “a coming together” ensuing between a number of players on both panels.

Director of Communications for the GAA, Alan Milton confirmed on Monday evening that "the CCCC are investigating, and we are awaiting Conor Lane's (referee) report."

Midlands radio commentator John Casey reported live on the incident on Sunday - he also spoke on Monday evening about what he witnessed.

“I was misinformed initially,” said Casey, who along with Milton was talking to Game On. “I was told the Mayo players were waiting in the tunnel for Dublin to get out on the pitch until I happened to get up to my stand position and I realised Dublin were meant to enter the pitch at 2.56pm.

“Certainly there was a coming together in the tunnel area entering Croke Park.”

“There was a bit of jostling, but nothing malicious. Imagine Mayo players in their dressing room. When the blood is pumping and being told you can’t go out yet, because Dublin are not out yet. Some of them I’m sure said we’re not waiting any longer.”

Milton also confirmed that Dublin were due to take the field at 2.56pm where they would be followed by Mayo two minutes later.

He added that the “unsightly” incident was certainly not the first of its kind.

“I wonder do we need to have a discussion about two teams walking out on the field in an orderly fashion?” he asked.

“I don’t believe tradition in always a good enough excuse not to examine the other options in this case. Are you trying to tell me that teams that come out for AFL finals or other sporting events around the world are not equally charged and pumped for the game in question but can walk out side by side?

“I think you can do more with it personally because this is not the first time it’s happened. In fact it happens quite a bit if we are being honest about it but I couldn’t point the finger of blame on anyone until we have examined the full picture in front of us but as soon as that happens you can rest assured it will be dealt with accordingly.”