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Tyrone's Tiernan McCann set to learn fate on 'dive' ban at Croke Park hearing

By Declan Bogue

The Belfast Telegraph understands that Tiernan McCann's proposed hearing about the proposed eight-week suspension will be held this evening in Croke Park.

The Tyrone player was handed down the punishment after being levelled with a charge of 'discrediting the association' after going doing theatrically in an act of simulation as they beat Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Should he fail to be cleared of the charges be the Central Hearings Committee, he will be suspended from the time of the hearing.

If Tyrone and McCann refuse to accept that, then they can escalate the case to the Central Appeals Committee, and failing that, the Disputes Resolution Authority.

However, it is widely expected that McCann will be cleared to play, with prominent Gaelic football pundit and barrister Joe Brolly advancing legal theories why the suspension could not stand.

Meanwhile, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has sent out a definite message that he believes his current side can emulate those of the '03, '05 and '08 teams by winning what many would see as an unlikely All-Ireland this year.

"I definitely believe we can win an All-Ireland… I believe we can win and that makes it possible," Harte said.

However, even though Tyrone were good enough to beat Kerry in the 2005 and 2008 finals, and having gotten the better of them in the 2003 semi-final, Harte believes that using those examples would be a "foolish" thing to do.

"I always said that every day we played them, the result could have went either way," the Errigal Ciaran man said. "Probably 2003 was the best one of us in that we caught them on the hop a bit.

"By the time they realised we were in a good position, it was almost too late.

"But in 2005, the rub of the green just went our way in certain scoring situations. 2008 the same, Kerry looked in a good position right into the second half and we just snapped at the right time, got three or four important scores."

"Any of the days we won, we could have lost. I won't be getting too carried away by that. This is a new ball game, they are in pole position and we have to be on top of our game to be in with a chance of taking this one. But I believe that if we are at the top of our game, we will give this a very fighting chance."

All-Ireland SFC semi-final: Croke Park, Tyrone v Kerry, Sunday, 3.30pm

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