GAA Football

GAA to vote on two-tier Championship at Special Congress in Cork

The GAA will vote on a proposed two-tier Championship at a Special Congress in Cork
Andy Watters

GAA delegates will vote on the introduction of a proposed two-tier All-Ireland Football Championship on October 19.

It was confirmed yesterday that a Special Congress will be held at Pairc Ui Chaoimh to vote on the streaming of the Championship which would see Division One and Two teams and provincial finalists qualify for the top tier and the other counties playing at the lower level.

The Special Congress will also decide on the merit of three new playing rules: That all kick-outs will be taken from the 20m line, the introduction of an attacking ‘mark' and a 10-minute sin bin for black card offences.

The new two-tier proposal will see the retention of the current provincial Championship format.

The Qualifiers will be open to teams from Divisions One and Two and Division Three or Four teams that reach their provincial final.

With less counties involved, only two full rounds of Qualifiers will be played (as opposed to four currently) but there will be an additional preliminary round in years when more than eight teams are eligible to participate in round one.

The Lower Tier Championship - for all Division Three and Four teams that do not reach their provincial finals – will be a straight knockout and the GAA have moved to allay concerns of lack of interest by pledging that “a range of marketing and promotional supports” will be committed to the new competition.

Croke Park will be used for semi-finals and finals and an increase in TV coverage is planned.

Congress will also decide on proposed radical tweaks to the Super 8 (quarter-final) phase for the final year of its trial in 2020.

In round one, the four provincial champions will be at home against one of the teams who came through the Qualifiers – as was the case in 2019. Round Two will see the winners of the Round One matches play each other and the losers of the round one matches face-off.

This year the second round of games was played at Croke Park, it is now proposed to give the authority to CCCC to fix these games for venues other than Croke Park if deemed appropriate. This would require the approval of a full GAA Congress and it is intended to bring forward a motion on this to Congress 2020 next February.

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