The involvement of reigning Cork ladies football champions West Cork in this year’s county championship is in significant doubt.
A Cork LGFA motion proposing there be no limit to the amount of junior and intermediate clubs feeding into a divisional team was passed by 45 votes to 18 at this week’s Cork County Board meeting, but requires similar backing at national level before West Cork are cleared for county championship involvement.
A Cork ladies football official has said the motion will not be heard at next month’s Congress, instead it will be debated at an in-person LGFA EGM later in the year.
But if the LGFA EGM does not take place prior to the 2021 Cork championship throwing-in, then reigning champions West Cork will be limited to selecting players from a maximum of three clubs for this year’s county championship.
Rule 190 of the LGFA Official Guide, which Cork are seeking to amend, states that “county boards may allow players from three Junior clubs or one Junior and one Intermediate club to amalgamate to form a Senior team, without losing their Junior or Intermediate status”.
Last year’s victorious West Cork panel pulled players from over 10 clubs, with the Cork ladies football board subsequently fined by the LGFA for breach of Rule 190. West Cork first entered the Cork championship in 2016 and while the number of clubs feeding into the divisional team consistently exceeded the limit set out in Rule 190, 2020 was the first time Cork LGFA was fined for not adhering to the cap.
Cork’s proposed amendment to Rule 190 reads: “County Boards who operate Divisional Boards as per rules 181 and 182 may allow Divisional teams made up of non-senior clubs within the Division to compete in their Senior County Championship without losing their Junior or Intermediate club status.
“A Divisional team that wins the County Senior Championship shall not be permitted to represent the county board in the Provincial and All-Ireland Club Championship. The County Board concerned shall have in place competition structures, ratified by its clubs and submitted to Provincial and Central Councils prior to their competition commencing, which outline how the Club representing it in the Provincial and All-Ireland Club Championship is decided in the event of a Divisional team winning its senior championship.”