Armagh trio cleared to play against Donegal in Ulster championship

Stefan Campbell, Ciarán Mackin and Aidan Nugent win appeals after melee in league match

Armagh footballers Stefan Campbell, Ciarán Mackin and Aidan Nugent have been cleared to play in the weekend's Ulster championship match against Donegal.

The three had been suspended for contributing to a melee in the league match between the counties in March. An appeal to the Central Appeals Committee on Tuesday has however been successful and all three are clear to play.

This decision will be a major embarrassment for the GAA authorities, as two Donegal players, Neil McGee and Odhrán McFadden-Ferry had been similarly cited by Roscommon referee Paddy Neilan and had accepted the one-match suspension.

Armagh, however, challenged the recommendation of the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) but the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) imposed suspensions on the three players, which have now been successfully appealed.

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Leading Armagh forward Rian O’Neill, who hadn’t been reported by the referee, was also cleared by the CHC when it was ruled that the CCCC’s review had been improperly sequenced, as video footage had not been viewed before initiating the investigation.

This means that Armagh have suffered no disadvantage from the disorder whereas Donegal are down two players.

It will also sharpen focus on the offence of ‘contributing to a melee’ which was also used to issue a red card to Tyrone player Conor McKenna in last weekend’s match against Fermanagh.