Dublin accept they were late for pitch entrance

Dublin chairman Seán Shanley accepts the team were late and missed their allocated pitch entrance time in Sunday’s All-Ireland final.

Dublin were due to leave their dressing room at 2.56pm with Mayo following them two minutes later. However, they were delayed until after 3pm, leading to a clash with Mayo who arrived on the field seconds after them.

“It seems we were late out,” acknowledged Shanley. “I don’t know why, the time is up on the wall in the dressing room but it is easy to lose a minute or two if someone’s in the loo or there is someone who wants to give some more words or wisdom. Another minute or two can pass without knowing. It’s never planned.”

As of yesterday afternoon, the Dublin County Board were awaiting word from the Central Competitions Control Committee.

Dublin officials anticipate a suspension will be proposed and, depending on the extent of it, appear ready to accept the punishment.

Meanwhile, former Cork manager Gerald McCarthy says no suspensions should be recommended to Dublin and Mayo players from Sunday’s pre-match jostling if it is found there was no deliberate intention to initiate the clash. In 2007, McCarthy saw three of his players suspended – Dónal Óg Cusack, John Gardiner and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín – arising from the Semplegate melee prior to their Munster quarter-final against Clare.

Despite appeals, the trio missed the subsequent provincial semi-final against Waterford, which they lost. Clare’s Colin Lynch, Alan Markham, Barry Nugent and Andrew Quinn were also banned for one game while both counties were fined, Cork €7,500 and Clare €5,000.

“If it was an accident then no player should lose out,” said McCarthy. “These things happen and it can turn very quickly into a dynamite situation but if one team was trying to orchestrate it or one was waiting for the other then that’s a different ball game.”

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford on Sunday said the incident was “coincidental”.

McCarthy maintains his team did not intentionally burst out of their dressing room at the same time as their opponents that day. “It was not contrived, it was a complete accident. I’m not sure who was first and who was second – I think they were first – but there was no intention of starting any trouble. Players just turned the corner at the same time and when players are running on concrete in studs you can easily bump into people. It spilled onto the field on that occasion and maybe that’s why they took the action they did.”

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