12/03/2018 – 10:17:00Back to Sport Home
Jim Gavin has labelled as â€œbizarreâ€� the GAAâ€™s Central Hearings Committeeâ€™s decision to uphold Michael Fitzsimonsâ€™ one-match suspension arising from his red card against Mayo, writes John Fogarty.
Fitzsimons was sent to the line by referee Paddy Neilan for a mistimed foul on Aidan Oâ€™Shea in the second half of last monthâ€™s win in Castlebar.
Gavin, who did not rule out taking Fitzsimonsâ€™ case to the Central Hearings Committee even though he missed yesterdayâ€™s game against Kerry, suggested the decision might be part of an agenda to sanitise Gaelic football.
Asked for his reaction to the judgement, he replied: â€œSurprised is probably an understatement. We were here on Thursday night at the Central Hearings Committee meeting and we had to demonstrate conclusive evidence that his foul wasnâ€™t a Category III offence â€” dangerous play â€” and weâ€™d footage from eir Sport, great footage, to show conclusively it wasnâ€™t dangerous play.
â€œIt was deemed that we didnâ€™t conclusively demonstrate that, which for those of us who played the game and coach the game and understand that if a player is leaning in to take a shot and all the indicators are that he is going to shoot then you commit yourself to the block.â€�
He continued: â€œAidan gets up and plays on and itâ€™s deemed that there was a Category III offence, which I believe is bizarre. Maybe thereâ€™s an objective to sanitise the game of Gaelic football and I look at the hurling fraternity and theyâ€™ve kept the physicality in their game and itâ€™s a great sport because of it so we just need to be mindful of that.â€�
Ã‰amonn Fitzmaurice likened next Saturdayâ€™s clash with Kildare to a Championship game as they look to avoid relegation.
â€œWe have to focus on next weekend and get a result at home and make sure we are in Divison 1 next year because next yearâ€™s squad will be a very young one and you want them to be exposed to days like this, against opposition like Dublin.â€�
Gavin said Diarmuid Connolly and Paul Flynn were two players â€œresting up for the momentâ€� while James McCarthy had picked up a knock during the week.
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.