/ GAA

Eight-team football provinces proposed by FRC

Updated: Monday, 09 Dec 2013 17:08 | Comments

A proposal has been made to switch the All-Ireland Club Football final to December
A proposal has been made to switch the All-Ireland Club Football final to December

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The GAA’s Football Review Committee (FRC) has proposed a radical restructuring of the inter-county championship, which would see eight teams and, therefore, four quarter-finals in each province.

The committee, headed by Eugene McGee, proposes that the four preliminary round losers in the Ulster and Leinster Championships be entered in the Munster and Connacht Championships.

Under the current system there is one preliminary game in Ulster and three in Leinster. The losers of these games would be entered into the draw for the quarter-finals of the Munster and Connacht Championships.

The losers of the Ulster Championship preliminary round would move to the Connacht Championship along with one of the Leinster losers.

The other two losers in the Leinster Championship would move to the Munster Championship, giving the province an eight-team football championship.

Connacht would then have a nine-team championship (including London and New York), with, unless New York decide not to compete, the Connacht Championship preliminary round match in Gaelic Park being retained.

It is unclear as to whether the preliminary round losers, if beaten a second time, would be eligible to take part in the qualifiers, although the FRC have proposed that the first round of the qualifiers would still have 16 teams involved.

The FRC has also proposed that the All-Ireland Club Football final be moved from the now traditional date of St Patrick’s Day to a date in December, meaning the club championships would be run off in the calendar year.

The committee also expressed its concerns about counties, such as Donegal, proposing not to schedule the start of their club championships until after the county team has been knocked out of the All-Ireland championship.

The committee also proposes a one-year lowering of the age for the minor grade from under 18 to under 17.

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