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GAA bids to remove Division 4 teams from football championship

Croke Park chiefs will put this plan to Congress next month.

Croke Park: a lot harder to get to every year for some teams if plans if rubberstamped.
Croke Park: a lot harder to get to every year for some teams if plans if rubberstamped.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

DIVISION FOUR TEAMS will no longer take part in the All-Ireland senior football championship, if a GAA proposal passes at Congress next month.

Croke Park chiefs today outlined new proposals which would see sides in the bottom tier of the league play in their respective provincial championships but not, necessarily, the All-Ireland series.

They would have a so-called B championship to focus on with the winner of that competition invited into the following year’s All-Ireland championship. The details, according to the GAA, are:

  • All counties will take part in their respective provincial championships.
  • The teams that are placed in Division Four at the conclusion of the National Football League will play in their provincial championship only. They will also participate in an All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Football Championship, which will be played on a straight knock-out basis. The winners of the All-Ireland ‘B’ Football Championship will be guaranteed a place in the following year’s All-Ireland Football Qualifier.
  • The winners of the Provincial Championships will progress directly to the All-Ireland quarter-finals. The losers of the provincial finals will play in Round Three of the All-Ireland Football qualifiers.
  • The 16 teams who do not reach the provincial final and who are not eligible for the All-Ireland B championship will play in Round One of the All-Ireland Qualifiers. This will be an open draw.
  • The eight winners of Round One of the All-Ireland qualifier will play in Round Two.
  • In Round Three of the All-Ireland qualifier, the four winners from Round Two will play the four Provincial Final losers.
  • In the All-Ireland Football quarter-finals the four provincial final winners will play the Round Three winners.
  • In Rounds One and Two of the All-Ireland qualifier, where teams from Division Two, Three or Four are drawn against a team from a higher division, the team from the lower Division will automatically have home advantage.

Congress will be held in Carlow next month.

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