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Dublin: 12°C Friday 23 April 2021

'Very unfair on players and fans' - Mayo hit out at throw-in time for Down game

The match will take place at 7pm on 22 June.

MAYO GAA HAVE criticised the throw-in time for their All-Ireland football qualifier tie against Down in Newry on Saturday week.

The Mayo team stand for a minutes silence Mayo are heading to Páirc Esler on Saturday week. Source: Andy Marlin/INPHO

Mayo were handed an away trip to Down in Monday morning’s draw for Round 2 and the fixture details were confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.

But after requesting  an afternoon throw-in time to accommodate their supporters who face a long trip to Páirc Esler, the decision to schedule the game for 7pm has ‘disappointed’ Mayo officials.

“We’d like to say we’re disappointed at the throw-in time for seven o’clock on the Saturday evening,” outlined Mayo PRO Paul Cunnane.

“On Monday we had requested to the CCCC that the game would throw-in at three o’clock, taking into account the round trip facing our fans.

“We were very surprised and disappointed then to find out that the game is down for 7pm. It’ll easily take seven or eight hours as a round trip for people from Mayo and you can add more on to that if you’re coming from the north of the county. 

“When you consider the large number of Mayo fans and large number of families that support the team, it’s very unfair. Fans won’t be back in their car until 9pm or 10pm, if the game goes to extra-time, and then won’t get home until 1am or 2am. For players it’s going to be even later by the time they get on the road home. We think it’s very unfair on players and fans, especially those with young children.”

The Mayo News had reported that PSNI concerns over traffic congestion on a Saturday afternoon and Down’s participation in the Nicky Rackard Cup final earlier that day in Croke Park, were cited as reasons behind the later throw-in time.

“We have played qualifier games at 3pm or 4pm in Castlebar on Saturday afternoons,” stated Cunnane.

“Last Saturday Donegal played Tyrone at 5pm in Cavan, a town that I’m sure is equally as busy. Surely then the game could have been accommodated for a time other than 7pm? There’s no TV restriction around it either so it seems a very unusual decision.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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