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Minister says non-playing panel members can attend inter-county games


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Non-playing members of inter-county panels will be allowed attend matches this year. 

The news was confirmed by Minister of State for Sport & The Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers. 

During last year's Championships, player numbers were strictly capped by the government. Only the 26 players named on the official team sheet were allowed access to grounds for matches. Along with 12 backroom members apiece, teams were limited to 40 persons per stadium per game.

Limerick hurling manager John Kiely and Mayo football manager James Horan were among the rule's most vocal critics.

"I’m quite offended by that situation we’ve been put in," Kiely said after Munster hurling final win over Waterford in November.

Horan described the cap as "outrageous", adding, "I think the players, to a certain extent are being taken for granted, I really do, in a lot of things. We’ve guys that have given a decade and, for some of them, more.

“It may be their second [last] or last time going to Croker or whatever so to have trained all year, giving everything and for them not to be allowed into a venue, it’s outrageous really. It genuinely is."

Mayo avoided sanction from Croke Park when three members of Horan's backroom team attended December's All Ireland final defeat to Dublin without authorisation.

But with the Allianz Hurling League set to commence on Saturday, Minister Chambers tweeted news that will relieve many.

"Happy to confirm that non-playing members of inter-county panels may attend games when the league season starts," he said.

"All members of panels make a significant contribution to the performance of their counties. Important this is recognised."

The relaxing of the rules will extend to inter-county games under the auspices of the GAA, Ladies Gaelic and the Camogie Association.

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Allianz National Football League Allianz National Hurling League Allianz National Leagues Camogie Association GAA Jack Chambers James Horan John Kiely Ladies Gaelic Lgfa Lidl Ladies National Football League

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