A view outside Croke Park. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
locked out

GAA call on NPHET to present evidence behind decision to move games behind closed doors

The FAI, meanwhile, have clarified what today’s restrictions mean for those involved in Irish soccer.

THE GAA HAVE called on Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to present the evidence that informed their recommendation that all sport in Ireland revert to being held behind closed doors. 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin today confirmed that all sport in Ireland must be held without fans with immediate effect until at least 13 September as part of a series of new measures to limit the resurgence of Covid-19. 

Speaking at the announcement today, Martin said that there is to be “strict avoidance of social gatherings before and after events.”

As part of the new restrictions, all visits to homes will be limited to six people from outside the home while outdoor gatherings will be limited to 15 people.

Martin added that indoor and outdoor training “should follow the six indoor and 15 outdoor guidance.”

Up to now, games had been staged with a maximum number of 200 people in attendance, a figure which included players, management and officials. 

In a terse statement this evening, the GAA called on public health officials to show their workings. 

“Following this evening’s unexpected announcement the GAA invites Dr Ronan Glynn and Nphet to present the empirical evidence which informed the requirement for the Association to curtail its activities”, read the release.

“The Association will tonight be issuing an invitation to Dr Glynn to meet with its Covid Advisory Group in this regard without delay. The GAA and its members remain at all times committed to protecting public health.” 

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI), meanwhile, have issued detailed guidelines as to what today’s announcement means for those involved in Irish soccer. 

In a statement in which the FAI “acknowledge the part that our sport can play in this ongoing battle”, the Association confirmed all SSE Airtricity League and Women’s National League games will proceed as scheduled behind closed doors. 

Adult Amateur and Underage Football – including underage National Leagues – will also continue, subject to updated Government and FAI guidelines, and the FAI stressed that no spectators are allowed at any games within their jurisdiction. 

They confirmed that outdoor training is limited to a maximum of 15 people, and that more than one training session can take part at a venue provided the training pods are no larger than 15. 

The FAI also put on record their acknoweldgement of “the hard work to date of all players, coaches, match officials, club officials, volunteers, parents and guardians and their dedication to our Protocols in ensuring the safer return to football.” 

 With reporting by Sinead Farrell

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