GAA Congress: Betting restrictions implemented and 'Super 8' passes
The GAA also implemented their trilogy of major championship restructure this morning11:08 Saturday 25 February 2017, 11:08 25 Feb 2017
The 2017 GAA Congress is well underway and a number of important motions passed with large majorities in the early stages of Saturday morning.
Motion 1, which proposed sough to adopt a new rule - Rule 1.18 - which would prohibit players, team management or match officials from betting on games in which they are involved in was passed with a 234-2 majority.
The minimum sanction members now face for this offence is an eight-week suspension. Expulsion from the Association may also be considered in some cases.
Motion 2 sought to allow the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) to submit a maximum of one motion to Congress and passed with 69% votes in favour - or 161/232 delegates voting.
Motion 3, which would allow Christy Ring Cup winners to compete in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Qualifiers that same year also passed with a 95% vote in favour.
Motions then moved onto Championship restructure, with the controversial 'Super 8' in the running order at Motion 4.
This passed with a 76% majority.
The 'Super 8' would do away with the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final and instead would see the eight teams divided into two groups of four.
Each team would play one home match, one away match, and one match at Croke Park.
Group 1 QF winner would play the Group 2 QF runner-up, and the Group 2 QF winner would play the Group 1 QF runner-up in the semi-final of the competition.
Much of the discussion around the congress focused on this motion and those who both supported and opposed the motion spoke in length before hand.
"This will give us very competitive games in the latter stages of the football championship," said Galway delegate Michael Larkin. "The idea of having a game at a neutral venue, home venue, and away venue is very attractive for the counties involved."
"Falling attendances is an issue we have to address," said director general Paraic Duffy. "We have to try something. What have we got to lose by passing this motion? The answer is nothing.
"All we're asking you is to give an idea a trial run. Nothing that is done here today cannot be undone. What are we afraid of?"
Dermot Earley, GPA Chief Executive, complained that the players were not consulted on the move.
"The players oppose changes to the quarter-final stages for a number of reasons. Firstly, the lack of consultation with the players. Secondly, the format offers little in the way of changes for the lower-ranked counties.
"The proposed format will do little to alleviate the increased gap between the higher and lower ranked counties. And it will reduce the liklihood of one-off results in Championship matches.
"There's no incentive for Provincial winners who now have to play additional games."
As for the GAA's major championship restructure motions - already passed Motion 4 and Motions 5 & 6 - all passed with large majorities.
Motion 5 sought to bring forward the All-Ireland finals to in the hurling and football championship brought forward to August passed with 78%.
Motion 6 which sough to abolish replays - except in Provincial and All-Ireland finals - in favour of extra-time was passed with a 91% majority.
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