Sunday, December 10, 2006

Compromise Rules finally beats itself to a halt

The Compromise International Football Rules series between Australia and Ireland have been suspended and the competition will not be continued in 2007, according to the GAA.

Following a meeting of the GAA Central Council on December 9th, the Association released a press statement:

"The future of the International Rules was discussed at a Central Council meeting in Croke Park on Saturday, December 9. Delegates spoke both strongly in favour and against the continuation of the International Rules Series following the incidents in the Second Test between Ireland and Australia on November 5th.

"The President, Nickey Brennan, stated that the issue had been considered by the Management Committee at length and that a consultation process had taken place with players and the Irish Team Management. He stated that he had also spoken at length to the CEO of the AFL. He revealed that about 50% of players contacted had given their views and that they were all in favour of the Series continuing, as was the Irish Team Manager, Seán Boylan and his Selectors.

"He explained however that they made it clear that any continuation must be contingent on a structure, rules and an implementation process and procedure be put in place to ensure that any future Series was conducted to the accepted norms of sportsmanship.

"The President stated that the Australians appeared to accept that this was a necessary prerequisite to any consideration of the future of the Series.

"On the recommendation of the Management Committee, it was agreed that there would be no Junior or Senior Series of games in 2007.

"It was agreed that a document would be prepared by the GAA, which would put on record the basis of structure, rules, their implementation and penalties on which the future of any Series must be considered. This document will be brought back to Central Council for decision after which it will be forwarded to the AFL for their consideration.

"If the GAA’s terms, as outlined in this document, are acceptable to the AFL, then discussions on the future of the Series could take place.

"Dessie Farrell, the player’s representative stated that while there would be some disappointment amongst players that the 2007 Series will not take place, the decision was, in his view, probably a wise one."

The International Rules series was marred by a number of incidents on the pitch including fist-fighting in the 2006 season. The game, which is a cross between Australian football rules and Gaelic Athletic Association rules, is played only between Australia and Ireland and has a history of robust (some might say violent) play.

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