Wexford accept Davy Fitzgerald ban as appeal would be distraction

Concern about distraction was the only reason that Davy Fitzgerald and Wexford chose not to contest his proposed eight-week suspension.

Wexford accept Davy Fitzgerald ban as appeal would be distraction

In a statement yesterday, the Wexford County Board explained that they would not be seeking a meeting with the Central Hearings Committee, meaning that the Central Competitions Control Committee’s (CCCC) recommended punishment stands.

Fitzgerald will not be permitted on the sideline for their Leinster quarter-final against Kerry, Laois, Meath, or Westmeath and their following SHC game, be that against Kilkenny or a July 1 All-Ireland first-round qualifier.

However, he will be allowed to continue training the team for the respective matches.

Sources close to the Wexford executive felt Fitzgerald had a strong chance of having the ban reduced to one game, but it was agreed by the Sixmilebridge man and county officials that a disciplinary saga was not in the best interests of the team.

The statement in full read: “Wexford GAA County Board confirms that senior hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald, will not seek a hearing regarding the eight-week penalty handed down to him by the CCCC following the Allianz National Hurling League semi-final on Sunday 17 April in Nowlan Park.

“The County Board, and all Wexford GAA supporters are fully supportive of Davy Fitzgerald as our senior hurling manager. Wexford people fully understand that Davy brings 100% commitment and a real passion to his coaching and it is this which makes him such an outstanding manager.

“We are very proud of the tremendous work he and his backroom team have put into the senior hurling squad. That work is already bearing fruit, with promotion to Division 1A achieved and a real spring in the step of all GAA followers in the county.

“It is considered that the penalty imposed for Davy’s pitch encroachment is harsh and that arguments could be made for a lessening of the penalty. Indeed, it is not unknown for other similar penalties to have been nullified after appeals and legal processes.

“However, this decision has been reached after detailed discussion with Davy and is being taken in the broader interests of the game and of the senior hurling team. In accepting the penalty, the focus of attention can now turn elsewhere and the GAA family in Wexford can return to strengthening our games and our teams.”

Saturday’s hurling championship fixtures:

Christy Ring Cup, Round 2A — Antrim v Down, Cushendall 2pm; Kildare v Wicklow, Newbridge, 2pm. Round 2B – Carlow v Mayo, Netwatch Cullen Park 3pm; Roscommon v London, Dr Hyde Park 6pm. Nicky Rackard Cup, Round 2A – Derry v Longford, Owenbeg 3pm, Tyrone v Donegal, Carrickmore 3pm. Round 2B – Armagh v Louth, Athletic Grounds 3pm; Monaghan bye. Lory Meagher, Round 2 – Leitrim v Cavan, Páirc Seán MacDiarmada 2pm; Warwickshire v Sligo, Páirc na hÉireann, Birmingham 2pm; Lancashire v Fermanagh, Old Bedians Sports Ground, Manchester, 2.30pm.

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