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Kilmacud Crokes to fight Glen’s All-Ireland Final objection

Kilmacud Crokes players celebrate after the All-Ireland Club SFC final against Glen at Croke Park. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Donnchadh BoyleSunday World

The All-Ireland club football final saga shows no sign of ending soon, with Kilmacud Crokes ready to contest Glen’s objection to last Sunday’s result, and the issue further complicated by players going on planned holidays.

It has emerged that the Dublin club are ready to formally notify the GAA of their counter-objection today, a day before the deadline of Saturday at 11am.

The Stillorgan side’s response will decide the next step. Were Crokes to admit that they were in breach, the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) will convene to decide whether to disqualify Crokes and hand Glen the title, or fine Crokes and leave the result stand, or to order a replay – deemed to be the most likely outcome.

However, a replay would bring its own difficulties. It’s understood several family events and trips abroad are planned among both squads, meaning finding a date to satisfy all parties would be onerous.

However, if – as expected – Crokes object, a hearing will be called. The situation is likely to get even more complicated from there, with either party entitled to appeal any decision.

Use of the GAA’s final court of arbitration – the DRA – has been rare of late, but in a situation as complicated as this, shaded with so much grey area, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Replays have been ordered in the past over contested results for breaches of rule, albeit never in an All-Ireland final, and not in these circumstances. In this case, while it is clear that a breach of rule took place – Crokes clearly had 16 players central to the game for Glen’s last 45 – there is mitigation.

Danny Tallon struck the kick before Dara Mullin had come off and a retake should have been called.

Speaking on the Smaller Fish GAA podcast, leading football referee David Gough said GAA’s substitution process is “fundamentally flawed”, leading to instances where there are 16 players on a pitch in most games, however briefly.

Whether the onus in this situation was on Kilmacud or the game’s match officials to ensure Mullin had left the pitch before play resumed looks like being one of the primary issues around which the case hinges.

And at this juncture there looks to be no speedy resolution in sight.

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