AT a meeting of the Munster GAA Council in Limerick on Thursday, a proposal from the Provincial Competitions Control Committee (CCC) to change the format to a seeded draw for the 2014 Munster senior football championship was adopted. This means that the 2014 format will keep the 2013 finalists, Cork and Kerry, at opposite sides of the draw.
The CCC proposed a change back to the seeded draw and this was seconded by Cork. Tipperary proposed that Cork and Kerry get byes to the semi-finals, with the remaining four counties, Clare, Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary playing off for the other two semi-final spots after which the semi-final pairings would be decided by means of an open draw.
The proposal to revert to the seeded draw was carried by six votes to three. Each County has one representative on the CCC while the officers with the exception of the full time officials (secretary and assistant secretary) are also allowed to vote.
The recommendation was passed without a counter-proposal at the full council meeting which followed.
Clare chairman, Michael McDonagh expressed “disappointment and anger” at the outcome, saying he cannot understand “why Munster has gone for a seeded draw when no other province operates this system . It will set back football in the counties of Clare, Tipperary, Limerick and Waterford. In my opinion young footballers will not make themselves available to play inter county football in these counties.
Tipperary football chairman, Joe Hannigan was equally strong in his criticism of the decision. He had proposed that the four weaker counties play off in the opening rounds, with the two winners to join Cork and Kerry in the semi-finals where an open drawn would decide the pairings. “The open draw has failed in the past,” he said, adding,”What message is this giving to the young footballers of the so called four weaker GAA counties in the province. This has to be re-visited sooner rather than later?”