DECLAN Bonner believes the GAA should relax its strict guidelines on the attendance of match day panels and back room members for Sunday’s Ulster final.
The game between Donegal and Cavan will be played behind closed doors at the Athletic Grounds.
Under the current restrictions, players outside of the match day 26 are not permitted into stadiums and only an additional 14, including management, coaches, medics and statisticians are allowed in.
Last weekend, Limerick hurling manager John Kiely hit out at the measure after his side won the Munster SHC final.
“We’ve 10 players at home, which in my view is completely and utterly unacceptable, given that I’ve 20 reporters standing in front of me and I’ve 10 of my panel at home,” Kiely said.
“I’m quite offended by that situation we’ve been put in.”
Kiely said the practice was ‘nonsense’ and called for the GAA authorities and the government to allow full panels into matches.
He said: “That unity that’s involved with 36 players is crucial. Our players should not be at home when we’ve 200 plus people in a stadium watching the match. Our players should be here, with their colleagues.”
Ahead of the Ulster final, Bonner has echoed Kiely’s comments.
The Donegal manager has been in a similar boat, having to inform players and some back room members that they are unable to attend games.
“The one thing that is disappointing is we work off a squad of 30-plus players and on any given day we are restricted,” he said.
“There are lads who are left at home and these guys put in the same time, effort and commitment. There are maybe 10 individuals and they should be allowed into an Ulster final.
“It’s tough to tell players they’re not in the 26, number one, but also ‘you’re not traveling, you’re not part of the group’.
“These boys have worked very hard on the training ground and done everything that has been asked of them.
“It is important that the powers look at this and allow these guys to get in on Sunday.”Tags: