Four Munster counties threaten football boycott

The Munster Council's decision to seed Kerry and Cork for next season's Munster Senior Football Championship has led the other four counties involved to threaten to boycott the province's 2015 Championship.

Four Munster counties threaten football boycott

The Munster Council's decision to seed Kerry and Cork for next season's Munster Senior Football Championship has led the other four counties involved to threaten to boycott the province's 2015 Championship.

In a statement issued via the Gaelic Players Association, the four senior panels from Waterford, Clare, Tipperary and Limerick expressed their 'serious disappointment' with the current seeding system.

Next summer's Munster Championship - the draw for which takes place tomorrow night - will see Kerry and Cork seeded directly to the semi-final stage where they will be kept apart.

Clare sought an emergency meeting of the Munster Council recently to discuss the seeding issue.

At the meeting last Thursday, Munster Chairman Robert Frost ruled that the Council had no jurisdiction to revisit the original decision taken on September 12 as this would be in breach of Rule 3.31 (e), which states that "alterations may be considered only on an annual basis".

However, the latest move by the four counties could plunge the Munster inter-county football season into crisis next year.

As "a form of immediate protest", the players want to withdraw their counties from January's McGrath Cup and ask players to not make themselves available for the 2014 Interprovincial Championship (formerly the Railway Cup).

Their statement reads: "The Waterford, Clare, Tipperary and Limerick senior football panels would like to formally express our serious disappointment at the Munster Council's decision to seed the 2014 Munster Senior Football Championship without any consultation with county squads.

"We are aggrieved that this decision, which seriously disadvantages our counties' provincial Championship prospects, was also taken without certain counties being properly mandated to vote.

"We also believe the decision to seed the Munster Football Championship affects the wider All-Ireland series in an unfair manner.

"We understand that we are now restricted by the rules for the 2014 season but we will be approaching our respective county executives in the four counties to seek assurances that the decision will be revisited next year.

"As a form of immediate protest against this decision, and respecting the views of our squad members, the four squads have asked their counties to withdraw from the 2014 McGrath Cup.

"Also we will be asking our players to consider not making themselves available for the 2014 Railway Cup football series. In recent years players from the four counties have helped backbone the Munster Railway Cup side.

"Players from the four squads will then convene a meeting before the 2014 Allianz Football League to assess the situation going forward.

"All four squads are also united in saying that if the seeding arrangement isn't reversed next year through the formal channels that the current panellists will not participate in the 2015 Munster Championship."

The statement is signed, on behalf of the squads, by Shane Briggs (Waterford), Seanie Buckley (Limerick), Joe Hayes (Clare) and George Hannigan (Tipperary).

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