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Galway-Armagh brawl: GAA set to investigate full-scale melee in All-Ireland quarter-final
Players and officials from Galway and Armagh became involved in a full-scale brawl at the end of normal time in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final, during which Damien Comer was eye-gouged; GAA likely to investigate the incident.
Last Updated: 27/06/22 7:53pm
The GAA is set to investigate the ugly scenes which transpired at the end of normal time in Sunday's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final between Galway and Armagh.
After Rian O'Neill landed a dramatic long-range free to level the contest for the Orchard County, both teams headed for the tunnel to prepare for extra-time.
With the two groups heading for the one tunnel on the Cusack Stand side of Croke Park, a melee broke out, with players and backroom team officials involved.
Footage of the incident showed Galway's Damien Comer getting eye-gouged by a member of Armagh's extended panel.
Before starting extra-time, referee David Coldrick showed straight red cards to the team captains, Seán Kelly and Aidan Nugent. It is believed that they were penalised for 'contributing to a melee'.
With the brawl marring what was one of the most exciting Gaelic football contests at Croke Park in recent years, the GAA are set to act.
It is being widely reported that the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) are likely to examine the incident and propose sanctions.
Canavan: Changes needed
Sky Sports pundit Peter Canavan feels that the incident could have been prevented.
"There are a couple of men who will receive sanctions, I've no doubt about it. That should be the case. But from a GAA's point of view, in a game like that there is no way that the two sides should be going back in the same tunnel," said the Tyrone native.
"Croke Park is a facility with excellent changing rooms either side of the ground. That's the best way to do it - have one team togging out in a changing room on one side, and the other. That would have prevented the situation.
"Also, when you look at the melee, the people who are going to receive a heavy sanctions weren't actually the players. They were the subs. There were substitutes that were either gouging, giving headlocks or striking. So for the CCCC to impose sanctions on other players just for being there, because a lot of it was just pulling players back, there was very little striking in it. It's going to be difficult.
"The two men that were sent off, how could you stand over that? It clearly showed Aidan Nugent, whilst he was there in it, he didn't do anything to deserve a red card. It looked as if Sean Kelly was the same.
"It's a difficult one, they're unsavoury scenes, but I'd be surprised if there are more than three or four that are singled out of that and receive heavy suspensions."
Former GAA president Liam O'Neill has said the association needs to "tidy up our act" with such issues, suggesting harsher and more immediate penalties.
"That has to be admitted, that we have to tidy up our act," he told Morning Ireland.
"We should move to a situation where penalties are imposed on the day. We had that at one stage where the black card lasted for an entire game, that meant people weren't doing the sort of things they're doing now. We have to get back to that.
"We can't legislate for everything that happens but the responsibility for sports administrators is how we handle those situations when they develop.
"It's up to us to address what happened on Sunday and make sure it simply doesn't happen again."
Galway eventually won the contest on penalties, and progress to the All-Ireland semi-finals where they will face Ulster champions Derry, live on Sky Sports.