Suspensions can be served in the six Allianz Football League relegation play-offs later this month as the GAA have temporarily closed an unusual disciplinary loophole.
Although semi-finals are considered season games, relegation play-offs are not and therefore don’t usually count towards fulfilling a ban. However, the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) have ensured that a “next game suspension” is applicable to those demotion clashes.
As well as bans being served in those matches, sendings off in those fixtures will become game-based suspensions. The CCCC had feared players who picked up bans in the relegation play-offs might avoid penalty because they are not normal season games and are time-based.
However, any hurler sent off in the final round of Division 1, whose team ends up in the relegation play-off, will miss their Championship opener as it is the next season game and the play-off won’t be played until July.
In 2019, Cork captain Seamus Harnedy and Kilkenny defender Conor Delaney avoided bans carrying forward to the Championship as the counties’ relegation play-off, which they sat out, was deemed not to be such a play-off by the Central Appeals Committee.
The game did not count towards relegation and was only played to ascertain which divisional group they would play in last year.