Dublin bosses ponder appeal over subs

Dublin county board officials will meet this morning to consider appealing against the legitimacy of Mayo’s use of substitutes in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Although the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) are satisfied that proper procedure was followed in the game, members of the Dublin management committee last night raised issues with the legitimacy of two substitutions involving Kevin McLoughlin.

In the 55th minute, McLoughlin was replaced by Colm Boyle as a blood sub after picking up a head injury.

McLoughlin later returned to the game in the 69th minute. However, he did so not in place of Boyle but Jason Doherty.

If a team is proven to have exceeded their quota of five straight substitutions, under rule 6.42 (b) the opposing side can be awarded the game or a replay or fine can be handed out, depending on circumstances.

Dublin chairman Andy Kettle last night said: “We’ve listened to a fair few conflicting views and we’ll meet in the morning after people have reviewed a tape. Once that happens, we’ll make a decision.

“Some people believe Mayo made a mistake when McLoughlin came back on and didn’t replace the man (Boyle) that replaced him. Therein lies a potential problem for Mayo.

“It has always been my interpretation of the rules that it has to be a direct swap. If not, then it becomes a full substitute and if that is the case then Mayo would have used six substitutes.

“All the papers showed that eight subs were used and three of them were blood subs but they also shows that McLoughlin didn’t come back on for Boyle.

“I understand the version given from Croke Park is once you come on as a temporary substitute you can be a substitute for the whole game but I don’t believe in that.

“If you interpret it that way, in my mind it would be in the spirit of the rule.”

Regardless of Dublin’s decision, Kettle believes a time limit is needed on blood subs after two of Mayo’s three players who were temporarily replaced under the rule failed to return to the game. “It’s too loose when you can have a blood sub going to hospital (Lee Keegan) and not being able to take part again in the game.”

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