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Controversial 'B' football championship proposal withdrawn as minor grade to become U17

There were also changes made to the inter-county U21 championship at GAA Congress today.

GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail.
GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail.

THE CONTROVERSIAL PROPOSAL for an All-Ireland ‘B’ football championship to be introduced next year has been withdrawn at GAA Congress in Carlow.

There was widespread opposition to Central Council’s proposal, with the Gaelic Players Association saying that its members would refuse to play in the competition if it was approved.

The eight Division 4 teams at the end of this season’s Allianz League would have entered the competition upon their championship exit, assuming that was before reaching a provincial final, rather than being put in the draw for the qualifiers.

Former Kildare midfielder Dermot Earley spoke in Tullow to outline the reasons for the GPA’s opposition to the proposals to restructure the football championship.

The All-Ireland ‘B’ championship proposal, Motion 2, was withdrawn due to a lack of support.

Motions from Carlow and Roscommon suggesting alternative changes to the structure of the football championship were rejected when put to a vote.

Minor

Inter-county minor football will become U17, not U18, from January 1, 2018 after Motion 4 was passed at Congress with 68.2% in favour of the change.

All inter-county minor players will be aged between 15 and 17 and 14-18 at club level. The minor grade at club level will remain the same.

This will mean that the majority of inter-county minors will not run the risk of neglecting their Leaving Cert studies by being involved with a county panel.

U21

Changes were also made to the U21 football championship.

From the 2018 season the U21 football grade will be replaced by an U20 competition for players aged between 18 and 20.

Instead of running the championship between February and April, the competition will be run off between June and August, with no replays permitted.

Drawn games will be decided by extra-time, and, in that fails to find a winner, by “the outcome of a sudden-death free-taking competition, the details of which shall be determined by the Central Council”.

Hurling and club U21 structures will remain the same.

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Alan Waldron

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