Former Laois star Peter O’Leary has accused GAA chiefs of favouring bigger counties, specifically Dublin, after the times for Sunday’s Leinster SFC semi-finals were changed following the Republic of Ireland’s progression to the last 16 of Euro 2016.
O’Leary is unhappy that similar leeway wasn’t afforded to Laois and Armagh last Saturday, with the second half of the Ireland-Belgium game reaching a conclusion when the All-Ireland SFC qualifier at O’Moore Park got underway.
O’Leary said: “I don’t mind the fact the games have been changed but it’s clear that they already had it pre-planned.
“It was within minutes of the Ireland match finishing when the GAA had it announced.
“I’m sure they didn’t have a meeting within five minutes and they really don’t do themselves any favours.
“Look at the Laois subs situation the last day, the Meath and Louth fiasco in 2010 and how long it took for those to be resolved and yet they had pre-planned for Dublin.
“It’s blatantly obvious they knew they were going to change for Dublin.
“It’s obviously the right decision and there can be no debate over it but why didn’t they do the same last Saturday for Laois-Armagh?
“Maybe they didn’t realise (the clash) at the start but there was enough uproar within an hour to know they could have changed it.
“A lot of that seems to be down to RTÉ. They’re probably thinking that if they had the Ireland match on, nobody was going to tune in and watch the Leinster semi-finals but with them separate, they’ll have a long stint of viewers.
“With Laois and Armagh, they weren’t too bothered by the amount of viewers for that.”
O’Leary, who retired from inter-county football in December 2014, has also described the Laois substitutes saga that came to light after last weekend’s victory over Armagh as “crazy”.
After using seven subs, Laois were ordered to replay against the Orchard County on Saturday week.
And O’Leary said: “It’s crazy how it happened, really. It should have been fairly obvious at the time. From what I can gather, they asked the fourth official and he gave the go-ahead.
“But it’s crazy they have to replay the match for the sake of 60 seconds. Even if they were in doubt, why risk it? Things like that shouldn’t be happening.
“It’s hard enough getting a championship win against the other toughest team in that draw and now we have to play them again.”
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