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Ryan Byrne/INPHO Glen players and coaches after Sunday's game.
# Speaking out
'The GAA's reputation is at stake' - Joe Brolly criticises handling of club final controversy
The Derry All-Ireland winner believes a replay should be ordered between Kilmacud Crokes and Glen.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 24th 2023, 3:04 PM

THE GAA HAVE been accused of ‘cowardice’ for their handling of the All-Ireland club final controversy by Joe Brolly.

The Derry 1993 All-Ireland winner and pundit believes the only ‘honourable option is to order a replay’ for the meeting of Kilmacud Crokes and Glen.

Kilmacud won Sunday’s game in Croke Park by two points, 1-11 to 1-9, but the outcome has come under scrutiny as the Dublin side had 17 players on the pitch when Glen took a ’45 in injury-time.

The Derry champions last night expressed their disappointment after being informed by the GAA that the club must lodge an official objection before the controversy can be reviewed.

The GAA’s reputation is at stake,” said Brolly, speaking on Off The Ball last night on Newstalk.

“This isn’t a private matter between Watty Graham’s and Kilmacud, this is about the integrity of the game itself. And part one, which is where rule 6.44 is, is about the fundamental ground rules of the GAA and one of those is that 15 players play against 15. And rule 6.44 really only gives three options, well it only gives three options.

“Once it is proved there has been a breach then the GAA can either fine, order a forfeiture or a replay. And the rules specifically says that the decision they make depends on the circumstances.”

Brolly believes Paul Mannion’s presence on the field is not the core of the matter, it is Dara Mullin being stationed on the goal line that means a replay is necessary.

“It is quite clearly a flagrant breach of the rule. This is a player who is continuing to take part in the game after he has been substituted. It is nothing to do with the referee or the linesmen – the responsibility within the rule is placed on the team itself.

“So it’s not a technical breach, it’s a flagrant breach. You have an extra man defending the last play and it seems to me the only honourable option is for the GAA is to order a replay.

“And it is most disappointing to me, I think it is a total act of cowardice, an abdication of their responsibility to now say today they are not…. because they have the power under rule 6.44.

“(The) two ways it operates is either on an objection from the club and in this case it will be proved because it is accepted the breach occurred – we can all see that.

“But the committee in charge can investigate it themselves and they have said today oh no they are not going to do that. I am in disbelief about that.”

The GAA’s reaction has sparked further debate.

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“If this was the IRFU or FIFA the replay would have already have been ordered and I dare say the general feeling in the north is if this had been the other way round the replay would be ordered,” said Brolly.

“There’s going to be all sorts of speculation out there caused by the GAA abdicating its responsibility and people in the north are saying this would never have happened if it was the other way around, whether that is right or wrong it is serious reputational damage to the GAA.

“And now Glen are in the terrible position of having to make the objection.”

Off The Ball / YouTube

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