Left, Hill 16, Croke Park

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) which represents GAA players in Ireland has urged fans to respect new measures aimed at preventing fans invading the pitch at the end of games the Croke Park, the national football stadium.

The All-Ireland hurling final takes place this Sunday and fans have been requested not to storm the pitch in the usual fashion once the game ends.

A statement issued by the association said: "The GPA is happy to support the initiative as it is not acceptable that players should have to endure verbal abuse or physical interference after an intense championship game.

"We would also appeal to fans to consider losing players, particularly after the All-Ireland finals. "The physical and emotional drain on players is immense," they added.

In the past fans of the winning team have traditionally dashed onto the pitch to surround the players. However in recent months incidents have occurred where by stewards and players were injured as a result of the melee of fans.