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GPA reject the 'Super 8' football proposal but back calls for extra-time and August All-Ireland finals

The motions will be debated at Congress this weekend.

GAA CLUB PLAYERS have slammed the ‘Super 8′ proposal to revamp the All-Ireland senior football championship and now inter-county players have followed suit.

Dessie Farrell, Seamus Hickey, Aogán Ó Fearghaíl and Paraic Duffy The GAA-GPA agreement was announced last year. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

70% of Gaelic Players Association members have voted against the motion that will be debated at this weekend’s GAA Congress while 30% are in favour.

The findings were confirmed by the GPA to Newstalk’s ‘Off The Ball’ programme tonight.

The players group are in favour of the other motions which seek to introduce extra-time instead of replays for all provincial and All-Ireland senior games – excluding finals – and calls to stage the All-Ireland finals in August.

On the same programme tonight, Wexford’s All-Ireland winning manager and CPA executive member Liam Griffin expressed his disappointment that the group has been refused the chance to speak at Congress at Croke Park.

“It’s very disappointing. We’re all members of the association. I don’t imagine anybody in a position of authority would stand in a stadium of 20,000 players and say, ‘we’re not going to listen you folks, we’re not going to do that’.

“It’s just disingenuous to be honest with you and it’s surprising. What’s most extraordinary now is the GPA have come out in the same way.

A view of the press conference The CPA was launched at the Ballyboden St-Enda's GAA club in January Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I am pleased the GPA have come out with that, not for any derogatory reasons but because they represent another side of the players, the inter-county players.

“We respect that. We’re part of the same grouping and joined at the hip to be fair. And now all of the players have come out. Surely if that was in any other sport, it’d surely represent a crisis.”

Griffin did not know why the request of the group – which has over 20,000 members – to speak at Congress was turned down.

“No I haven’t an idea. I’m sure there’s some rule somewhere that says that and if we got to speak it’d be three minutes and no more.

“But you know in fairness to Aogan Ó Fearghail and Paraic Duffy and everybody involved, I think we’re all victims of the system. The system needs to be looked at it in its entirety, root and branch.

“Because the system is obviously failing the players when the vast majority have voted to say they don’t want this to happen. It beggars belief. I think the players need to come out themselves and make their views known.”

Source: Off The Ball/SoundCloud

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Fintan O'Toole

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