Sporting events everywhere are being postponed or else cancelled outright due to the restrictions necessitated by the ongoing and still escalating Covid-19 crisis. No sport is immune from this, the GAA included.
So far, the GAA are playing a cautious game in relation to what might have to be done to its fixtures calendar for 2020 in light of the crisis. Unlike the LGFA – who earlier this week declared this year’s National Leagues null and void – the GAA are still holding fire about what to do both with the unfinished Leagues and with this summer’s Championships.
Fergal McGill, the GAA’s Games Administration Director, was on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland programme this morning. He expressed the hope – and it can be no more than a hope at this stage – that the All-Ireland finals in football and hurling will still be played as scheduled in August this year.
He did, though, concede that it’s difficult to make firm plans for the future until there’s clarity from the government about when it’ll be okay to resume playing matches again.
For now, though, the GAA appear to be content to remain in a holding pattern, waiting to see if the restrictions that are currently scheduled to last until 19th April are lifted at that point or, as seems far likelier, extended for a further period.
Assuming it’s the latter, the GAA will then be left with no choice but to start thinking about a Plan B for its 2020 fixtures. Were that to happen, McGill stated that “straight knock-out provincial championships in both football and hurling, but, potentially with a back-door as well” would need to be looked at.
The Galway/New York Connacht Championship tie in Gaelic Park has already been postponed. In this morning’s interview McGill confirmed that the Roscommon/London game has now also fallen victim to the current crisis.
The GAA website has a piece on that interview with Fergal McGill – that’s here.
There was no mention, by the way, of the Leagues in that interview this morning. In a separate interview with the Irish Examiner, however, Fergal McGill said that the GAA hasn’t yet abandoned hopes of finishing this year’s spring campaigns. Like its Championship plans, however, the key determinant there is likely to be what happens next in relation to the restrictions that are currently in place.