GAA Director General Paraic Duffy responded to calls for changes to the All-Ireland Championship structure, insisting that a knee-jerk reaction would be unwise
All eight of the provincial finalists have crashed out of this year’s All-Ireland SFC, causing many to question the current tournament system. Paraic Duffy has gone on record defending the tournament’s structure, but has accepted that the system isn’t perfect.
Duffy said, “They (the Qualifiers) were never devised to give people a second chance. It was devised initially to make sure teams got more than one game in the championship. If you go back to the time it came in, the big complaint was that teams trained all winter, they lost one game and they were out of the championship. So, the original focus was to make sure every team got a minimum of two games, and it does that”.
Duffy continued, “This year was unique. This is the first time ever that the four provincial champions have gone out at the quarter-final stage. On the law of averages, it was always going to happen some time. So, to change our structures because of that would probably be a mistake”.
Duffy also hit out against Kerry manager Jack O’Connor, who claimed that the Munster title wasn’t worth winning. Duffy pointed out the fact that the Munster champions have qualified for the semi-finals in nine of the past ten All-Ireland championships.