Wexford are strongly considering an appeal after manager Davy Fitzgerald was slapped with an 8-week ban by GAA disciplinary chiefs following last Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League semi-final against Tipperary at Nowlan Park, writes Jackie Cahill.
Team manager Fitzgerald has been handed a stiff penalty which will see him banned from the touchline for the Leinster SHC quarter-final against a round-robin qualifier at the end of May – and a possible provincial semi-final clash with Kilkenny on June 10.
Wexford were hopeful that Fitzgerald would receive just a one-match ban, which would have allowed him to patrol the touchline against the Cats, presuming the Slaneysiders win their opening game on May 27/28.
But Fitzgerald has been charged with an infraction in chapter 7 of the GAA’s Official Guide, dealing with enforcement of rules/arbitration and under the heading ‘misconduct at games by team officials.’
Category IIa covers ‘any type of physical interference with an opposing player or team official.’
Fitzgerald grabbed the headlines when he stormed onto the turf to remonstrate with referee Diarmuid Kirwan following Tipperary’s second goal and he clashed with Tipp players Niall O’Meara and Jason Forde before leaving the field of play.
Referee Diarmuid Kirwan made note of the episode in his written match report and in the GAA's Official Guide, the minimum suspension for an offence of Fitzgerald’s nature is an eight-week ban.
Tipperary have yet to reveal if any sanction has been handed down to Jason Forde – but the Silvermines player could miss out on Sunday’s Allianz League final against Galway through suspension.
In preparing what they believe is a watertight case against Fitzgerald, the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee may also have hit Forde with a playing ban to cover all angles.