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GAA seeking clarity from government on inter-county challenge games

It also remains unclear when inter-county U20 and minor squads can return to training.

A view of Offay football training.
A view of Offay football training.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE GAA ARE seeking clarity with the government about when inter-county challenge games will be permitted after the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions. 

Challenge games between inter-county sides were not permitted to take place before 4 May and Thursday’s government announcement did not advise whether they can be played after that date.

County managers had been hopeful that challenge matches could take place before the National Leagues, which commence for hurling on the weekend of 8/9 May and in football a week later.

The Association are also seeking clarity on when inter-county U20 and minor squads can return to training. 

“The broad announcements yesterday did not make any reference to when challenge games will be permitted at inter county level,” said president Larry McCarthy and director general Tom Ryan in a co-signed letter to clubs today.

“Nor was there any reference to when inter county U20 and Minor teams may return to training.

“We are currently seeking clarity on these two points and will communicate directly with county secretaries in this context once we receive it.

“In the interim, we would ask for your patience while we complete this work and we look forward to communicating in detail with you all again as soon as possible in relation to the resumption of GAA activity.”

Yesterday’s announcement confirmed that non-contact adult club training can resume in pods of 15 from 10 May, with behind-closed-doors games permitted from 7 June.

“We are currently liaising with the relevant Departments to seek further information on the finer details of what will be permitted at various points in the recovery plan,” the correspondence added.

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“For the moment, we would ask for your patience in relation to questions you and the broader membership no doubt have in relation to the various return dates and the specifics of what will be allowed.

“It is our intention to issue a more detailed communication to clubs and counties next week and once further information is available.”

The GAA also reminded clubs that all indoor facilities, apart from toilets, are to remain closed.

In addition, gyms must remain closed to club players (with only senior inter-county players permitted to use their club gym) and fundraising events on GAA property cannot currently take place.

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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