Laois senior footballers getting ready to play Limerick in NFL Round 1. Pic: Alf Harvey
The Laois senior footballers look set to lose home advantage for a league game in 2019, after the GAA found them guilty of breaking the rule regarding training breaks ahead of the 2018 championships.
Laois, along with Armagh footballers and the Wexford and Waterford hurlers have all been hit with the penalties, according to reports in today's Irish Independent. Armagh and Wexford had gone to Portugal, while Waterford and Laois remained in Ireland.
Dublin had also been investigated over a team trip to France, but apparently avoided reprimand due to claims it was solely a trip to visit historical sites, and they did not conduct any training. Wexford claimed their trip abroad was also a team-bonding exercise and not a training camp, but their appeals fell on deaf ears.
Unfortunately for Laois, there appears to have been no educational or historical element to their weekend away, although they are expected to appeal the decision to the Central Hearings Committee.
The month of April was designated a month for clubs in 2018, with county's expected to release county players to play with their clubs, and 'away' training camps were not allowed, unless they were within ten days of a championship game. Laois opened their Leinster SFC campaign with an extra-time win over Wexford on May 12th.
The Laois senior footballers were released to their clubs for the month of April, with some playing up to four league games in that time.
If the ban is upheld, Laois will have to play one of their home league games at a neutral venue. There has been no indication yet which of these games would be moved. Laois play their home games against Carlow, Westmeath and Longford.