GAA chiefs to investigate ‘skelping’ in the tunnel

The Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) are investigating the cause of scuffles between Dublin and Mayo players prior to Sunday’s All-Ireland final.

No proposed suspensions are anticipated but the CCCC are eager to ascertain why the players emerged from the Hogan Stand tunnel at almost the same time. Both counties could end up being fined if they are found to have contravened match-day regulations.

Dublin were scheduled to appear first onto the pitch at 2.56pm with Mayo making their entrance two minutes later. However, Dublin did not emerge until after 3pm at which stage they were shortly followed by Mayo. Speaking to Midwest Radio, former Mayo player John Casey, who was on the Hogan Stand sideline at the time, claimed there were incidents in the tunnel between players.

“There was skelping in the tunnel. I had a birds-eye view of it, I couldn’t believe it,” he said before adding, “There was elbows flying, there were fracases in the tunnel.”

Asked about the unseemly scenes, neither Jim Gavin or Lee Keegan claimed not to have seen what happened. It has been suggested Mayo waited for Dublin to come out from their dressing room and join them but manager Stephen Rochford clarified: “We were detailed to come out second. I think we went out a minute after we were supposed to. Just in case anyone is going to look into it: coincidental. Nothing went into it. These things happen, ye can nail that on the head.”

Meanwhile, the GAA announced stand admission to Saturday week’s All-Ireland replay will be €60, €20 less than the price for drawn game – a cut of 25%. Hill 16 tickets are €30, down from €50. In addition, there will be a limited number of €10 tickets available for U16s from the competing counties only. There will be no tickets on general sale. Tickets will be distributed to clubs via county executives and to 6,700 GAA season ticket holders from competing counties, which include 1,300 juveniles.

The €60 stand ticket is €10 more than the price for the equivalent in each the All- Ireland senior hurling final replays between 2012 and ’14, while the terrace ticket shows an increase of €5 than on all of those three occasions. GAA head of communications Alan Milton explained: “It’s three years on since the last hurling replay and the reduction still represents fantastic value. There’s no major science behind it and the price merits the value of the event.

“There is also a large reduction in the price of terrace tickets and there’s the provision of under-age tickets. All told, we believe it represents excellent value and I wouldn’t think people will look at the prices then and now in the same light.”

Elsewhere, Dublin club players affected by the replay have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment at being discommoded by the extra fixture.

There has been no senior championship football played since the end of April. Former Dublin star Alan Brogan yesterday posted: “Spare a thought for the club footballers in Dublin and Mayo!!!” While his former county team-mate Darren Magee wrote: “It’s very frustrating, club players always get a raw deal. Time for a CPA (club players association)”.

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