Provincial losers may get longer break

THE possibility of giving losing provincial finalists a guaranteed minimum 13-day gap before playing in the football qualifiers will be investigated by the GAA ahead of next year’s championship.

“Everybody would accept now that it is a disadvantage,” GAA director general Páraic Duffy said yesterday of the existing system where teams may be out within a week of losing their provincial decider.

“Clearly there is a difficulty in doing it because it means you’ve got to finish all your provincial competitions within a two-week gap. Clearly it is a negative and you don’t want to make things unfair. I’m not going to make a promise and say we’ll change but I think it’s obvious that the Competitions Control Committee will look at it for next year.”

He also confirmed that there is likely to be a reduction in the number of games televised live during next year’s championship. A total of 50 will be aired this year which he argues is too many. With TV contracts out to tender shortly, the new deal will begin after the 2011 league and is almost certain to include a cut in live matches.

“My views are well known. I think we have too many games (on tv). We’re certainly not going to sustain a model where you have six live games over a weekend.”


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