Antrim's Matthew Fitzpatrick given 48-week ban by the GAA

Fitzpatrick looks set to miss the rest of the season

Antrim's Matthew Fitzpatrick given 48-week ban by the GAA

Antrim's Matthew Fitzpatrick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Antrim's Matthew Fitzpatrick has been given a 48-week ban, the GAA have confirmed.

In a statement released by the association on Tuesday afternoon, they revealed Fitzpatrick was given the ban for a breach of Rule 7.3 (aa) (4).

The Rule states; "Any Member found by the Hearings Committee to have given deliberately false evidence, whether orally or in writing, or to have deliberately misled any Hearing, shall be suspended for a minimum of 48 weeks, without a further Hearing."

The Irish News reported on Tuesday morning that the St. Johns forward was handed the lengthy ban by the GAA's Central Hearings Committee (CHC) on Monday night. If the ban is upheld he will miss the Championship along with next season's Allianz League campaign.

The ban refers to Antrim's Allianz League Division 3 game against Armagh earlier this year. In an ill-tempered match at the Athletic Grounds, both teams had players sent off. Armagh would win the game 1-12 to 0-13.

Fitzpatrick had previously been on front of the CHC on two occasions before Monday's hearing, where he was exonerated on both occasions.

The Irish News claim he was called for a third time as it was "understood new evidence came to the attention of the CHC".

Speaking on Monday night before the ban was given, Antrim joint-manager Gearoid Adams said he was worried for Fitzpatrick's well-being.

"I don't know if there's a precedent of the same guy being trialled three times. My issue with it is the welfare of Matthew Fitzpatrick. Mentally, he's not in a good place because he's ok one minute and the next he's not playing."

Antrim plan to appeal the ban and may have the Sigerson Cup-winning forward available for their Ulster Championship clash against on Sunday. The Saffrons play Donegal in Ballybofey.