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College football organisers say they will wait until June for decision on Dublin fixture

Organisers of the Aer Lingus Classic, set for August, say the game does not need a license and so is not subject to the government’s 5,000-person limit on gatherings.

Navy and Notre Dame helmets in the Aviva, when the fixture was announced in 2018.
Navy and Notre Dame helmets in the Aviva, when the fixture was announced in 2018.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

THE SCHEDULED AMERICAN football fixture between Notre Dame and Navy at the Aviva Stadium in August has still not been cancelled amid Covid-19 restrictions.

This month, the government moved to ban licenses for all gatherings of 5,000 people or more until September. But organisers of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic say their event, which brought 35,000 visitors from the US in 2012, does not require a licence.

Instead, in a statement issued this afternoon, organisers say they are ‘working closely with their Irish and American partners, including the Irish government, the US Naval Academy, the University of Notre Dame and the governing body of collegiate sport to monitor the situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The recent Irish government announcement on ‘licences for gatherings over 5,000’ does not apply to this fixture as the game does not require a licence.”

That said, the statement adds that they will liaise with the two universities and the college sport governing body, NCAA, to present a decision on what impact a global pandemic will have on the fixture by mid-June.

“At that time, the event organisers will in turn be in a position to update on the specifics of the Navy vs. Notre Dame scheduled for 29 August 2020 at the Aviva Stadium.”

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Sean Farrell

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