All-Ireland championship will not play out this year: GAA President
It looks like Wicklow GAA supporters may have to wait until 2021 to see the Garden County line out in a championship match as the GAA announced this season’s championship is unlikely to be played out this year.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Today With Seán O’Rourke this morning, GAA President John Horan poured cold water on the idea of the championships being played out this year. And he suggested that both 2020 and 2021 county club and inter-county championships could take place in the same calendar year of 2021.
“We’re open to that if that’s a possibility! We’d just adjust the 2021 season,” Mr Horan said.
“I think people would accept that if we were to make such a decision that it would be to the benefit of everyone involved.”
He said the decision must be made in the interest of the public health, and as the GAA is an amateur sport, there is other aspects to the decision that professional sports do not have to take into account.
“We’re going to act totally responsibly. Social distancing of two metres is a high priority at the moment, I can’t see contact sport coming on board in the short term.
“We’re an amateur sport. Our amateur athletes go back to their families, they go back to their workplace. We can’t put any of those people, or those people they come in contact with, at risk just for the sake of playing games. We won’t be making any rushed decision on this,” Mr Horan said.
The GAA President also quashed rumours the GAA had been discussing the possibility of allowing inter-county player resume training in the coming months saying he was “shocked” by reports and “aghast at where this story has come from.”
When pressed on reports in the media over the weekend that the GAA had approached the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport about the possibility of allowing teams resume training in the coming weeks, Horan denied the reports out of hand.
“I’m quite shocked by this story,” Mr Horan said, “this was very much a nothing story over the weekend and to be honest with you, somewhat irresponsible.
“It caused a nervousness among membership throughout the country.
“Are we as an organisation putting the inter-county player ahead the club player?” Mr Horan put forward as a rhetorical question.
“We’re regularly in contact with government departments,” he explained. “At no stage have we discussed the return to training of inter-county players with any government department. I’m kind of aghast at where this story has come from,” he concluded.