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GAA say no inter-county games to be played before October
While not ruling them out, the Association say there is a ‘lack of appetite’ for the staging of games behind closed doors.

THE 2020 ALL-IRELAND Championships will not be staged until at least October, say the GAA. 

Following a meeting of the Association’s Management Committee this afternoon, the Association say they hope to stage club and county games in 2020, but do not expect inter-county games to be staged prior to October. 

The GAA also say they have not ruled out the possibility of staging games behind closed doors, but acknowledge there is a “lack of appetite” for this among the “wider Association.” Counties have also been asked to suspend training until further notice. 

Club and county players will be given time to train and prepare before the return to play. 

GAA facilities are to remain closed and the Association are instructing clubs and counties to continue to adhere to the restrictions and to refrain from organising on-field activity, in keeping with social distancing measures that are expected to remain in place until 20 July. 

The GAA say they welcome the government’s roadmap to the phased loosening of lockdown measures, and will seek clarity around some issues, “including the challenge of social distancing in contact sport.”

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Speaking on RTÉ Radio One last week, GAA President John Horan said the Association would prioritise club action when games did resume, and said the 2020 Championships may be pushed back into 2021. 

Horan is among the members of a dedicated Covid-19 Advisory Group that has been set up by the GAA, along with Director-General Tom Ryan; Sinéad McNulty and Helen O’Rourke, the respective CEOs of the Camogie and Ladies’ Football Associations; GPA CEO Paul Flynn; Stephen Mc Geehan (Head of Operations, Ulster GAA), Tony Mc Guinness (Events and Safety Manager, Croke Park), Feargal Mc Gill (Director of Player, Club and Games Administration); Doctors Pat O’Neill (Dublin), Kevin Moran (Donegal), Jim O’Donovan (Limerick), Seán Moffatt (Chair of Gaelic Medical Association and Mayo team doctor); and Dick Clerkin, the existing Chairman of Medical Scientific and Welfare Committee. 

It will be chaired by Shay Bannon, who is the existing Chairman of the Health and Safety group. This group will advise the GAA on matters relating to return to play protocols and other similar issues.

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