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2018 All-Ireland football final moved back to September to facilitate potential Pope visit

The GAA has confirmed the change to 2 September, with Pope Francis expected to visit Dublin on the original August date.

Action from this year's decider, which Dublin won.
Action from this year's decider, which Dublin won.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE GAA HAS confirmed that the 2018 All-Ireland football final will take place on Sunday 2 September.

At Congress in February, it was voted that both All-Ireland finals — football and hurling — would be played in August from next year.

The football final was planned for August 26, but The Irish Examiner is reporting this morning that with the possibility of Pope Francis attending the World Meeting of Families mass on that day, it has been decided to change the date.

The six-day celebration will take place in Dublin, and Croke Park is in line to stage its conclusion. GAA director of games administration and player welfare Feargal McGill confirmed the news, and change of date to John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner.

McGill and the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) have met twice since Special Congress to discuss how next year’s master fixtures calendar will lay out. The Club Players Association (CPA) have also been consulted.

In terms of the hurling decider, it’s set to take place on 19 August, as per Special Congress last month. The semi-finals are planned to take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend (4/5 August) along with the final round of the Super 8.

From discussions to date, the football semi-finals will potentially take place on 11 and 12 August.

From 2019, the football final is likely to revert to an August date also.

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