Separate competition for unsuccessful Division 4 teams proposed

Separate competition for unsuccessful Division 4 teams proposed

By John Fogarty

A motion proposing Division 4 teams enter a separate competition to the All-Ireland senior football qualifiers will go forward to next month's GAA Congress.

The decision was taken by Central Council in Croke Park today and follows what the Central Competitions Control Committee appeared to favour among the three shortlisted systems.

Although details have yet to be finalised on the reward for winning the competition, delegates agreed in principle to the eight lowest teams competing in their own group, similar but not identical to the Tommy Murphy Cup was run in 2008.

While the provincial championships will remain untouched, those non-provincial finalists among the Division 4 teams would be excluded from the backdoor system.

The reward for winning the competition may be re-entry to the All-Ireland SFC proper later that same summer or a guaranteed place in the qualifiers the following season.

Meanwhile, as anticipated plans to ditch the U21 All-Ireland football championship have been scrapped.

However, the alternative of an U20 All-Ireland championship has been endorsed by Central Council and will be debated at Congress. Only players between the ages of 18 and 20 would be eligible for the new competition.

The GPA have previously called for an U20 football championship and it seems the GAA's top brass have taken note after realising there was little support for getting rid of a competition between minor and senior at inter-county level.

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