“It disrespects the whole system.”
Galway manager Pádraic Joyce was not impressed with the decision to award Monaghan home advantage in the league relegation semi-final, despite their Covid training breach earlier this year.
Joyce’s spirited Galway side were beaten by All-Ireland champions Dublin on Sunday. That defeat, coupled with their hammering away to Kerry in the first game, sealed the Westeners’ place in the Division 1 relegation play-offs.
Monaghan’s Covid training breach.
The loser of the semi-final will be relegated to Division Two. And, given that there will likely be a full league campaign next season, it is even more important for teams to stay in the top-tier this time around.
The former Galway footballer made his feelings known after the match regarding the “joke” decision to give Monaghan a home league semi-final, despite their training session earlier this year which was in breach of both GAA and government guidelines at the time.
'I don't like it – I think the integrity of the competition is under threat'
No finals in Division 2 and 4 already, with the potential for the same in Divisions 1 and 3 – has the Allianz League been devalued this year?
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 30, 2021
Pádraic Joyce on Monaghan getting home advantage over Galway.
However, this does not seem to apply to the semi-finals and the two-time All-Ireland winner was informed of the GAA’s decision to award Monaghan home advantage after the game.
“I’m just after being told it is away because they had no home games and we had two home games so they are being rewarded for breaking a curfew and I find that unbelievable, to be honest,” Joyce said on RTÉ.
“It’s a joke if you ask me and I don’t know how Croke Park came up with that solution to play in Monaghan.
“We will play wherever it is on but I think it disrespects the whole system and the whole Allianz League if you are going rewarding a county to get a home vital game when you broke the rules.”
Pádraic Joyce on Galway’s Damien Comer.
Nevertheless, Joyce wants his side to focus now on staying in the top-flight for another season. But he didn’t have a positive injury update for Galway fans, after their star man Damien Comer picked up a knock.
“He is one of our better players so it is a huge injury blow,” Joyce continued.
“He is going to be out for three, four, or five weeks. He did his thumb last Sunday against Roscommon, he played on with it in the second half, but he has taken the tendon off the bone.
“He is in a bit of bother and is in a race against time to be fit for the Championship.
“This is his third year-in-a-row so he needs some sort of break, at least it isn’t a muscle injury. He may be able to do some conditioning work.
“If he comes back in time he will just need the ball-handling skills to go with it. Before he had leg injuries which stopped him training.”