Tyrone may be without Hughes for two qualifiers

ALL-IRELAND champions Tyrone will be without Kevin Hughes for their opening game in the Bank of Ireland football qualifier series — and possibly the next round if they advance.

Hughes, sent off early in last Sunday’s Ulster showdown with Derry in Omagh, received a four weeks suspension at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Central Disciplinary Committee. In addition, the committee ruled that he should miss ‘the next game’ in the competition, even if this falls outside the suspension period.

Previously, this would have involved the opening round of the 2007 provincial championship, but a rule change at Congress means that the provincial, qualifier and All-Ireland series are classed as a single competition.

Hughes’ suspension will end at midnight on June 24 and the first round qualifiers are fixed for June 17 — with the second round a fortnight later.

Following the rule change, it is not clear if ‘next’ in his case is the opening qualifier game or whether it will entail him being ruled out for the ‘first’ game after his term ends.

This issue is due to be raised at a meeting of the Central Competitions Control Committee next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, suspension terms of 12 and eight weeks respectively were imposed on Wicklow footballer Wayne Gorman — arising from an incident in the Leinster championship game against Carlow two weeks ago — and Longford hurler Mark Cassidy. This relates to an incident in the April 30 Division 3 NHL final against Armagh.

Three other players each received four week suspensions — Donegal’s Patrick Campbell from April 30, Mark Brennan from Carlow (from May 21) and Peter Byrne from Meath (from last Sunday). They relate to ‘incidents’ in the NFL Division 2 replay (Donegal v Louth) and the respective championship games, Carlow v Wicklow and Meath v Wexford.

And, as in the case of Kevin Hughes, the penalty in all three cases includes ‘the next game’ in the competition, even if it falls outside the suspension period. And, the same question in regard to the availability of Brennan and Byrne will be asked.

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