Duffy: No plans to overhaul disciplinary system

Duffy: No plans to overhaul disciplinary system

GAA Director General Paraic Duffy has stated that there are no plans to make changes to the disciplinary system, despite recent calls to do so by GAA Presidential candidate Liam O'Neill.

Last week, Laois native O'Neill claimed that the current process was "very dragged out" and it was own personal belief that the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) should be abandoned.

However, speaking at the launch of this weekend's All-Ireland Poc Fada competition, Duffy gave his full backing to the current structure, and cited the fact that no player had appealed their suspension in recent weeks.

"I think it's working much better. We've had one controversial incident this summer which had nothing to do with the CCCC and that was the Louth-Meath game," he said.

"I have said all along we should give this system time to bed down. Over the past number of weeks we've had no hearings, players have accepted bans and moved on."

O'Neill proposed that a three-person body be formed to examine all weekend games on a Monday morning. It was his belief that such a group should be comprised of a lawyer who specialises in sports law, a person of standing within the GAA and a neutral from a different sporting organisation.

Duffy insisted: "Liam is entitled to his view but the system has worked much better. There are no plans at the moment to change it. Absolutely none."

According to Duffy, the CCCC is also set to examine what punishment will be handed out for offences which occur when hurlers grab a faceguard to swing an opposing player to the ground.

Central Council will also discuss the possibility of making this a red card offence, but such a change can only be implemented at GAA Congress which takes place in Westmeath next April.

"The rule currently is that it's a yellow card offence but I don't think the rule envisaged that we would have this aggressive pulling of fellas around.

"We've come to the conclusion that we will have to amend the rule at Congress next year. We have a concern at the number of aggressive pulling incidents. We had looked at the possibility of interpreting it as some form of dangerous play but we can't do that.

"We'll just have to wait to implement a rule in Congress next year that is more specific. Our view is that pulling a fella around by his faceguard probably should be a red card. We just can't put a short term fix on it, so we hope that the players will be responsible."

And despite negative publicity over Championship attendances this year, the GAA say that they will break the '1 million barrier' this weekend.

Duffy understands the criticism of ticket prices, but he defended the GAA's stance on the matter, stating that a price reduction would not necessarily put 'more bums on seats.'

"I'd love to say attendances were up but that was never going to happen (given the current economic climate) and we're very happy with the level of attendances. A million people will have come to the games by this weekend.

"If we had knocked €5 off the price of every ticket, our revenue would drop by €5 million. Of that, 80% goes back to the Association.

"In terms of what we give back to our counties, provinces and clubs, that would be a huge drop.

"I don't know that dropping prices by €5 would make any difference to the attendances. You'd probably have to slash the prices to make a huge difference and the impact on the Association of cutting €5m out of our income - and it would be more by the time the All-Irelands are over - would be huge.

"We are very conscious of where people are. Under-16s are €5, with a family ticket, you can bring two, three or four kids at a fiver each...clubs can buy a package of €10 each for Sunday. That's incredible if you get 10 guys who'd like to go together.

"Even with the same number of people as last year, our revenue will drop because we have more and more packages.

"So I think we are making it as attractive as we possibly can, but I do understand the criticism," he added.

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