Armagh allegations from Laois match 'not accurate', GAA statement says

Armagh allegations from Laois match 'not accurate', GAA statement says

Armagh and Laois GAA County Boards have this evening issued a joint statement following a meeting surrounding events during last Sunday's Allianz Football League game between the counties at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

Both counties have moved to quell accusations in an earlier Armagh statement which suggested alleged racist abuse and "partitionist" provocation.

The statement from Armagh officials was issued in the wake of Ciarán McKeever's dismissal against Laois, where the defender was shown a red card by referee Michael Duffy immediately before the start of the second half of the Round 5 encounter.

The Orchard County captain was sent off for allegedly kicking a Laois player in the O'Moore Park tunnel at half-time during Sunday's loss.

McKeever now faces a two-match ban for the alleged incident, which he has strongly denied to Armagh officials.

Armagh's statement earlier this week had stated that "The chanting of 'God Save the Queen' and malign taunting of 'British B*****d' has no place either on or off the field of play. This is provocation in the extreme and at variance with Rule 1.2 that 'the association is a national organisation which has as its basic aim the strengthening of the national identity in a 32-county Ireland through the preservation and promotion of Gaelic games and pastimes. This partitionist mindset is contrary to the preamble in the Treori (Rules)."

The joint statement issued through the GAA's Press Officer Alan Milton this evening, states that both parties concede that Armagh's statement did not accurately portray the events which occurred.

"It was agreed that allegations made by Armagh County Board in their statement do not accurately reflect what occurred in O’Moore Park," the statement read.

"It is acknowledged by both Boards that inappropriate verbal exchanges took place between players during the game and this will be addressed with our respective panels.

"Both Laois and Armagh are committed to the playing of our games in the best possible spirit and look forward to the continuation of a keen, sporting rivalry."

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