Clubs to lose points for non-payment of player insurance

Donegal GAA officals have threatened to come down hard on any clubs that have not paid their player injury insurance and registration by this weekend.

Donegal GAA officals have threatened to come down hard on any clubs that have not paid their player injury insurance and registration by this weekend.

Any clubs that do not have done so before they play at the weekend face the prospect of losing the points and in the case of where two teams have not their insurance paid, will find their game declared null and void.

The number of clubs in question confirmed yesterday morning by county secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh was six, down from the 11 which missed last Saturday’s deadline and revealed at Monday night’s county committee meeting.

The six unnamed clubs were all informed by email by the county secretary on Tuesday night and were left in doubt about the county board’s intention to come down hard on them. They were told they were going to lose the points and in some instances the games would be declared null and void.

The matter came to light at Monday night’s county committee meeting when it was revealed that only 28 of the county’s 39 football clubs had paid their player injury insurance premium by last weekend’s deadline of March 31st.

“As of 5 pm last Friday evening March 30th, 15 clubs still had to pay their insurance and register with Croke Park. I received an email to that effect and when I made those clubs aware of this on Friday night another four paid up and made the deadline,” said Aodh Martin O’ Fearraigh.

“But this means that we had a number of clubs that played last weekend that had no insurance and if a player picked up an injury they were not covered and the club would have to cover the cost.

“This a very serious matter and I urge the clubs to address it as a matter of urgency and if those clubs do not address it by the weekend and before they play again, we will be deducting the points. And if a situation arises where two of those clubs meet the CCC have the power to declare the game null and void. We have no choice but to take this action; it is in the clubs’ best interest because if a player was to pick up a serious injury the officers of the club would be responsible and liable.”

The secretary confirmed yesterday that this stance had been echoed once again in the email to the clubs on Tuesday night and he insisted that this was not just an idle threat and that the county board had no choice but to take the course of action they had threatened.

This is a hardy annual that crops up every year and there was always one or two who dragged their feet on the matter. However, this year a greater number of clubs are involved though in fairness to the clubs it did emerge at Monday night’s meeting that there seemed to be a level of confusion and difficulty in registering online, as is required.

Nevertheless, it is still is a serious issue and does not take from the folly of any club playing games without having their players’ insurance in place.