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Special Congress to vote on two-tier Football Championship proposal

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

04:28 16 Sep 2019


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The GAA have outlined the two-tier Championship proposal they will put to a Special Congress next month.

Central Council met at the weekend to discuss a pair of two-tier proposals, as well as a number of potential football rule changes.

Under the proposal that Central Council have decided to put to that Special Congress at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on October 19, provincial championships will continue in their current form

However, the number of All Ireland qualifier rounds will be cut from four to two. But in years where more than eight sides are eligible to play in round 1, a preliminary round will be provided.

The qualifiers are open to all Division 1 and 2 teams from the Allianz Football League, and any Division 3 or 4 sides that make a provincial final.

A straight knockout tier two championship will be held for all Division 3 and 4 sides that don't reach provincial finals.

The proposal promises "a range of marketing and promotional supports" for the new second-tier championship, as well as the use of Croke Park for semi-finals and finals.

Today's announcement means the GAA have decided to disregard the GPA's call to postpone Central Council's vote on the two-tier proposals. They felt the Fixtures Task Force needed more time to develop its recommendations before a two-tier championship could be implemented.

Special Congress in Cork will also vote whether or not to fully implement rules that were trialled during this year's Allianz Football League and the provincial cup competitions.

The rules being voted upon will be:

·      The taking of all kick-outs from the 20-metre line

·      the introduction of a 10-minute ‘sin bin’ for players who receive a black card

·      The awarding of a ‘mark’ to players who cleanly catch a ball kicked from on or outside the opposition’s 45m line, that travels at least 20m and without touching the ground.

The rule regarding sideline kicks being played forward has been scrapped.

The GAA have also said that Super-8 games could be played away from Croke Park as soon as next summer.

The 2020 Championship marks the final year of the association's experiment with the format. Congress in February will vote on whether to give the CCCC authority to move Super-8 games away from if deemed appropriate.

A tweak to avoid dead rubbers in the final round of Super-8 games has also been proposed. In round 1 of the Super-8 series, the four provincial champions will be at home against sides who came through the qualifiers.

Round 2 of the Super-8s will see winners from round 1, while losers from round 1 will face one another. The GAA fails to note what happens in the event of an opening-round draw.

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Allianz National Football League Congress GAA Special Congress Two-tier Championship

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