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Kildare and Cavan set to lose home advantage as GAA announce Croke Park double-header

There have been safety concerns over St Conleth’s Park and Kingspan Breffni Park is unavailable.

THE GAA HAVE announced that two of Saturday’s All-Ireland round 3 football qualifier ties will take place in Croke Park, despite both Cavan and Kildare being entitled to home advantage for their games with Tyrone and Mayo respectively.

Cavan and Kildare were drawn out first in their pairings in this morning’s qualifier draw but both their games have been switched to headquarters for a double-header that will be televised live on Sky Sports.

Development work is currently being carried out on Kingspan Breffni Park, which means that venue is unavailable. Cavan’s ‘home’ game against Down in Saturday’s qualifier took place in Enniskillen.

The42 understands that the GAA have serious safety concerns about Newbridge’s capacity to host the game between Kildare and Mayo. The capacity of St Conleth’s Park is 9,000 but a crowd of approximately 20,000 is forecast by GAA officials with Mayo thought likely to bring in the region of 12,000 fans and Kildare estimated to have the support of 8,000 fans. There is also a concern about likelihood of people without tickets trying to gain access.

However, the decision has drawn fierce criticism. The Leinster Leader is reporting that Kildare are refusing to give up home advantage and have informed Croke Park they want the game to go ahead at St Conleth’s Park.

The remaining two matches on Saturday afternoon will see Leitrim host Monaghan in Carrick-on-Shannon and Armagh entertain Clare in the Athletic Grounds.

Saturday 30 June

All-Ireland SFC qualifiers round 3
Leitrim v Monaghan, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 2.30pm
Armagh v Clare, Athletic Grounds, 3pm
Cavan v Tyrone, Croke Park, 5pm (Live on Sky Sports)
Kildare v Mayo, Croke Park, 7pm  (Live on Sky Sports)

Poll: Should the GAA introduce a second tier football championship?

Do you agree with the man-of-the-match award winners from the weekend’s GAA football finals?

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Fintan O'Toole

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