Dublin selector Greg Kennedy is facing a suspension following his controversial intervention in Saturday night’s Leinster championship loss to Kilkenny.
During the first half the former Galway player intercepted a TJ Reid pass that was on its way to Billy Ryan and, if completed, would have opened up a goal chance for the Cats.
Referee Cathal McAllister took no action at the time other than to order Kennedy off the field, though he was able to continue his duties as the Dubs’ Maor Foirne, the member of the backroom team allowed onto the pitch during breaks in play to communicate messages to players.
McAllister had the power to order Kennedy out of the game completely and into the stands, allowing him to take no further part, though he chose not to take this course of action.
Croke Park’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) are understood to be investigating a number of avenues under which they could pursue the Dubs’ selector, including Rule 7.2 (d) (3) of the GAA Official Guide Part 1.
This covers ‘disruptive conduct by players, team officials or supporters (not causing the premature termination of a game)’.
The penalty is at the discretion of the ‘committee-in-charge’, in this case the CCCC, so they can impose whatever sanction they see fit. The likelihood is that it will propose a one-or-more game ban.
A Maor Foirne is allowed onto the pitch during a break in play, defined in the rulebook as after a score or a wide or when the referee has allowed a player on the field receive medical treatment.
McAllister had awarded a Kilkenny free in and was talking to Dublin defender Chris Crummy when he blew his whistle to restart play.
Spotting Kilkenny’s Billy Ryan was standing on his own in a dangerous position, Kennedy essentially went to mark him and then cut out the pass.
Kennedy shouldn’t have been on the pitch at the time and he certainly wasn’t entitled to interfere with the play.
Dublin were on top at the time, but it seemed to rouse the Cats as they went on to record a comfortable win.
"In fairness to Greg there is going to be a hefty suspension coming his way, but once the ball came his way he was always going to do it," said RTÉ hurling analyst and double Tipperary All-Ireland winner Brendan Cummins.
"He shouldn’t have been out there where he was on the pitch at that particular time. He moved to intercept the pass.
"It’s not the sort of sportsmanship we want to see in the GAA. I wonder if the Kilkenny player had pulled and taken the hand off Greg what would have happened next? He probably would have gotten a hefty suspension.
"He was caught between a rock and a hard place, but he shouldn’t have been in there in the first place."
GAA Official Guide, Part 2
Rule 1.4 Entry to the field of play/incursions
One Team Official (Maor Foirne, who is an assistant to the Bainisteoir), may move alongside the sidelines and enter the field of play, as specified hereunder, to make changes and/or to give instructions to players.
The Maor Faoirne shall enter the field of play through the Substitution Zone and only when the ball has gone out of play following a score or a ‘wide’ or during a stoppage in play which is called by the Referee for medical attention to an injured player.
The names official shall wear a yellow or tangerine coloured bib/distinctive top which shall have ‘MAOR FOIRNE’ in clear large letters. The Commitee-in-Charge shall determine and notify the colour to be used by each Maor Foirne.
The Maor Foirne may not act as a water carrier or hurley carrier. A Selector is permitted to act as Maor Foirne. The Maor Foirne shall not be a listed member of the Team Panel.
The Referee may give his permission to a Tem Medical Officer or one authorised official to enter the Field of Play to examine an injured player.