Jason Forde has been hit with a one-game suspension as a result of his clash with Davy Fitzgerald in last month’s National Hurling League semi-final at Nowlan Park.
It had been reported that Forde would be banned for two matches as a punishment for his role in the row, meaning he would have missed the Premier’s opening couple of championship games as they begin the defence of their All Ireland crown.
The GAA Central Hearings Committee could not prove the original proposed ruling of the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) that Forde was guilty “of any type of assault on an opposing team official,” which would have resulted in a two-game ban.
However, they have decided that Forde was guilty of “contributing to a melee,” a lesser infraction, resulting in the lesser punishment of just one match. The Silvermines clubman will have the opportunity to appeal the ban to the Central Appeals Committee. If the suspension is to stand, the 23-year-old will miss Tipp’s Munster championship opener against Cork, less than three weeks away.
Davy Fitz himself, the instigator of the incident, had publicly admitted he came forward to help Tipperary have any proposed ban of Forde rescinded, as it was widely believed the player was not at fault for anything deserving of a ban. The initial reaction to the ruling seems to be one of perplexity.
Does Forde deserve to miss Tipperary’s first championship game? Did he really even “contribute to a melee?”
— The GAA (@officialgaa) May 3, 2017
An amateur lad training 4/5 nights a week for the last 5 months and ye have him missing the 1st championship game over nothing.
— David Ryan (@DavyRyanTipp) May 3, 2017
Second definition might just as easily apply to GAA's disciplinary committee pic.twitter.com/h7yBNJqSAz
— Philip Lanigan (@lanno10) May 4, 2017
Jason Forde's revised one-match ban by Central Hearings Committee is tenuous. Contributing to a melee? Hmmm. #GAA
— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) May 4, 2017
Jason Forde will miss the opening round of Tipperary’s Munster SHC title defence after being charged with “contributing to a melee”. pic.twitter.com/Us0YACUZ6A
— Hit The GAA Spot (@hitthegaaspot) May 4, 2017