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Connacht SFC could be 'run off in three weeks' amid doubts over Exiles involvement

‘It was never likely to be played,’ said Connacht secretary John Prenty of the London-Roscommon clash.

The team parade ahead of the 2019 Connacht final.
The team parade ahead of the 2019 Connacht final.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

CONNACHT COUNCIL SECRETARY John Prenty has admitted there are doubts over the participation of London and New York in the championship this summer in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The provincial football quarter-final ties involving both sides have already been postponed by the GAA. They may be excluded from this year’s championship with the US and UK potentially worse-hit by Covid-19 and likely have restrictions in place for longer.

Commenting today’s decision to postpone London-Roscommon, Prenty said: “We were just waiting to see what was going to be the situation with the government here was doing and what was happening in Britain.

“You couldn’t make a decision before the 19 April and that’s only two weeks before it so it was to let people know with a bit of certainty that it wasn’t going to be played because we had got a lot of queries about that. But it was never likely to be played.”

Given the potential headaches with flying over squads, backroom teams and supporters to New York and London in the summer, Prenty says it’s a possibility that neither side will take part this season. 

“They may have (problems taking part), yeah. We’re waiting for the CCCC and we have to wait and see where we’re going with it.

“I’d say New York will have a major problem getting into it. I think New York do (understand). London would be hopeful but I don’t know.” 

Head of Games Administration Feargal McGill said today that the GAA are hoping for a mid-June start to the championship, but much depends on whether the government decides to extend the suspension of all sport in the country, which is set for 19 April at the moment.

Prenty says the Connacht championship could be completed in as little as three weeks if required.

“You have two quarter-finals, you can play them the one week, two semi-finals the following week and the final the following week. You could run it off in three or four weeks. Time isn’t a major problem.

“The longer it goes on, the less chance you have of having a long period of training (before the championship),” he added.

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Kevin O'Brien

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