A top Dublin footballer has been hit with a proposed three-match ban for biting Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty — but last night vowed to appeal.
The GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) yesterday handed down the stiff sanction which, in theory, could end the player’s season.
The unnamed Dub was the subject of allegations by Donegal that he left a “laceration” on McBrearty’s shoulder, consistent with a bite, during last Sunday week’s Allianz League stalemate in Ballybofey.
Given that the incident was only brought to the attention of referee Pádraig Hughes and his replacement, Michael Duffy, retrospectively, it had been suggested that a lack of evidence may scupper the CCCC’s case.
However, after a week of deliberating, the CCCC made contact with Dublin officials yesterday and confirmed they are proposing the heavy sentence.
Dublin chairman Andy Kettle refused to confirm the duration of the ban or the identity of the player though it’s understood to be a three match ban, arising from an alleged category III offence.
It’s a major blow to the player who had hoped to feature for the Leinster champions in Sunday week’s Allianz League final against Tyrone at Croke Park.
In fact, with just three more guaranteed games for Dublin this year — the league decider and two Championship matches — the successful application of a three- match ban would have the potential to end the player’s entire year.
As things stand, he has around 48 hours to submit his appeal and Kettle confirmed he will do so.
“The situation now is that it is up to the player, not the county board, to decide what he wishes to do and the player has decided that he wishes to appeal,” said Kettle. “The suspension has been proposed so that is where it rests now.”
In the immediate aftermath of Donegal’s biting claims last week, Kettle reacted strongly and suggested the burden of proof lay with the All-Ireland champions to show that McBrearty was indeed bitten. Kettle claimed at the time that an examination of the Donegal forward by a Dublin medic revealed not a laceration but a bruise.
“It’s going through the disciplinary procedure now so I won’t be discussing the actual case,” said Kettle last night. “There’s a process there now and Dublin will be adhering to that.”
Donegal GAA secretary Hugh Martin Ferry said they had not been informed of yesterday’s development and were happy for the matter to rest with the CCCC.
Last week, Ferry confirmed he was involved in bringing the alleged incident to the attention of match day officials Hughes and Duffy. “It was mentioned by myself and the management team at half-time to Padraig Hughes and again at the end of the game to Michael Duffy,” revealed Ferry.
Following the game, All-Ireland medallist McBrearty was taken to Letterkenny General Hospital for examination and treatment.
Donegal manager Jimmy McGuinness was irate after the drawn game, which resulted in his team’s relegation, though refused to mention the incident specifically.
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