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covid breach Mayo GAA suspends three senior management team members for three months each

The county’s executive had been asked by Croke Park to explain the presence of the three - non-accredited members of the management backroom - in the stadium for the All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin last month.

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Mayo GAA have suspended three members of its senior football management team. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Mayo GAA have suspended three members of its senior football management team. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Mayo GAA have suspended three members of its senior football management team. Stock photo: Sportsfile

MAYO will face no Croke Park sanction over the presence of three members of their management team who gained unauthorised access to last month's All-Ireland final.

The three have been suspended for three months apiece by the county board themselves.

Official sources have confirmed that as far as the GAA are concerned, the matter is now closed and Mayo will face no censure from Croke Park.

The county’s executive had been asked by Croke Park to explain the presence of the three - non-accredited members of the management backroom - in the stadium for the All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin last month.

Under Covid-19 restrictions, an official party of 12 was allowed to be present in the ground but the covert method of entry used by the additional trio was, according to reports, captured on CCTV and, as a consequence, the county was asked for an explanation.

At a meeting of the executive last Friday night, a decision was taken to ban the three from all GAA-related activity for a period of three months.

The period of suspension does not begin until the date that inter-county teams are permitted to begin preparations for the 2021 season, currently unknown.

In a statement, the Mayo county board claim that “three individuals attended the game without the knowledge of the County Boards officer and the team manager.”

Under rule, a 26-man playing squad with 12 backroom members and two county board officers were permitted entry to grounds, a total match-day personnel of 40.

For the All-Ireland finals, and football semi-finals, additional members were cleared by the Department of Sport, in consultation with the GAA and other sporting organisations, to be present on match day.

For the All-Ireland football final, all members of the extended Mayo playing squad were in Croke Park.

However, the number of backroom members permitted remained unchanged.

“Mayo GAA has examined the issue of the presence of unaccredited backroom team members at last year’s All-Ireland Football Final after it was recently brought to our attention,” the statement, published on the official county board website, reads.

“Following a review process, all unaccredited members of the backroom team admitted their mistake, apologised sincerely for their actions and have been suspended for 3 months.”

It adds: “Mayo GAA would like to place on record our commitment to the GAA and the Government’s Covid guidelines, all of which are in place for the safety and well-being of our players, members and the wider community.”

The issue of match-day attendance for competing teams was an ongoing one in last year’s championship, with several high-profile managers expressing their belief that restrictions should be relaxed somewhat.

The GAA had sought permission to allow family members to be at the All-Ireland finals but this was turned down by government health officials, as was their request to stage a meal for the teams and management in the immediate aftermath of the finals.

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