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.
62 thoughts on “Playing for time”
I think they can really just forget about finishing the league. There might be some prospect of a reduced format championship, but even that is suspect now.
There are bigger issues right now, no doubt about it. At the same time it’s important that there’s some sense of normality on the horizon.
Thanks WJ, it’s hard to see us getting back to football this year, everything is at the same denominator now, health Is the wealth, pg we be back stronger than ever soon and in the meantime mind yourself Maigheo abú
I think the championship should be forgotten about this year, maybe finish the league. But instead of championship each county have a few friendly games to raise money for the medical staff who have put their lives on the line every day during this disaster. Or something similar
I fully support ‘We are Mayo’ comments about proceeds from any football played this year going towards the medical staff that we all rely on so much. I live in London and we have the same situation here where in my opinion all the NHS staff (front line and support) that are fighting the virus are truly living heroes and are up there with the heroes of Normandy and El-Alamein. We rely on these brave people and so far, I’ve not seen anyone shrug their responsibility – we need them now, they are responding, and we MUST support them.
Let’s forget competitive football this year, as we all know there are much more important things out there and I applaud the LGFA for being decisive, Fergal McGill & Co. should do likewise. As ‘We are Mayo’ suggested, if we are to play anything this year then let’s get a friendly inter-county fixture in place to raise funds for current living Irish Medical heroes.
I think with what’s forecast the championship is now in serious doubt. We might hopefully salvage the club championship later in summer/autumn.
If the championship cant be completed by the end of August which looks highly unlikely then it has to be cancelled for the entire year. Priority must be given to clubs following this emergency whom ALL GAA Players represent in order to enable communities, especially in rural areas to come together once again. The GAA can not prioritise elite competitions where only a minority of players compete and forget about the vast majority of players at all levels.
I came up with an idea for a Mayo News Podcast. Now I don’t like telling you @Willie Joe how to your job as the service you offer is top class. But seen as the senior club league’s were meant to be starting this weekend in Mayo. Would you ever think yourself and Rob Murphy would do a preview and predictions podcast for the Mayo club championships. The draw was done 2 weeks ago. From Senior, Intermediate and Junior. Players to watch out for etc etc. I don’t think there is many better men for the job as both of ye are the men with the knowledge of the county and club game in Mayo. It would be a very good podcast I think especially for the likes of us Mayo people not in the country unfortunately. But relay on your services @Willie Joe to keep up with all the football going ons in our beautiful county. And also as they say club is first. Thanks. Up Mayo.
IF we have a scenario where there is no inter county championship and club does eventually get the go ahead I think it’s a great opportunity to get people back to the grassroutes game and wouldn’t it be great to see big bumper crowds at all club games….the hunger of the viewing public will be through the roof come August.
Ok guys enough is enough – This is a 12 month min virus – There will be no championship in 2020 period.
If and I mean if we escape a second wave then maybe in 18 months we will be back to some level of normal however social distancing will remain for up to two years
These are the facts
Where did you read that there will be social distancing for up to 2 years Sean out of intrest? i havent seen that stated anywhere. A slightly pessimistic view i think to be fair.
Sean, Those are the facts or that’s your opinion beacuse a lot of people confuse the two these days. Please post a link to those facts beacuse I can’t recall anyone anywhere in the world mention any kind of timeline 2yrs or otherwise
Sean, facts are completley different to opinions. Though I do agree that the championship is done for this year. Just my opinion.
These are definitely Facts… Taiwan is an small Island, with an area 36.197KM2 off the coast of China, a population of 23,780,452..at a density of 650/KM2… They have conciderable Trade with the whole world and indeed China, they got conciderably less warning than any Island off the west coast of mainland Europe… Their Death total is 2.. with 267 people having contracted the virus, and off that total 235 have fully recovered.. They still have a huge problem, but they are doing a fantastic job… Ireland (as an Island) is well over double the size, with conciderably less than a 1/3 of the population..6, 572,000 approximately, and a density just greater than a 1/10 of that of Taiwan at 77.8/KM2..How well are we doing in comparison to this other Island?…. That’s how well an Island can do… That’s where the bar is Folks… but it can be done!
Isnt it strange really that the in the source country of the virus, they have managed to completely stem the infection rates. Maybe 50 cases a day in the last few weeks, out of a population of almost 1.4 billion. It never spread throughout the country, Not 1 person travelled from Wuhan to Bejing in the early weeks of the virus. And yet 1 person travelled from Wuhan to Italy and the country is like the scene of a warzone at the minute. Are the rumours true that it is a man made virus and China are waiting for a global recession and stocks to fall in order to buy billions worth and become the worlds leading economy, time will tell. Anyway, il take my tinfoil hat off now and have an other hours sleep. Too early to be awake on a Saturday morning.
It is unusual if the Virus is almost under control in China and out of control almost everywhere else.m, if we are to believe the news from China.
Some think the virus is a man made weapon, it is certainly a very powerful strain.
China has built man made islands in the Ocean, probably for the next World war.
China were able to build a huge hospital in 2 weeks as they did for the Sars virus.
This virus may be like a flu where 99 % of people get over it, but every year a large number of old people die in Ireland from the common flu, maybe 1,000.
Bringing Economic activity to an almost standstill that will cause a big worldwide recession is the worst thing about this virus.
Would China have a vaccine already ?.
It’s up to the best to find a vaccine and I’m sure that this will be achieved soon if not already.
We will prevail in the next 4 weeks, but this standstill must be lifted and things get back to normal again.
All – please dial back on the conspiracy theories (man-made virus etc.). I know there’s an enormous football-shaped vacuum here right now but I don’t want it to be filled with nonsensical rubbish. And keep washing those hands!
Well said Willie Joe,we will get over this don’t know when but we will survive it,and then we can get back to football
That’s why I don’t do Facebook… ‘Conspiracy theory’s’..The inaction and stupidity of a certain PM to the East of us in Ireland and his cronies, The mind blowing stupidity, inaction and lunacy of so called leader of the Free World, and his cronies..He sacked anyone who made any sense… thousands of miles to the West of us…is hardly a ‘Conspiracy’ … Plenty of evidence was there well in advance of any Virus, that reality was neithers strong point!.. ‘Charismatic’ Leader’s when it’s obvious that the Leader is a Lunatic, and Sheep like follower’s of such a man, has always been dangerous as history has shown us…Almost every Flu, since written history started, began in Asia… China has almost 1..5 Billion people… The absolutely dracionion measures, after initial period of inertia, denial and some blaming the messanger, were mind blowing… But were highly effective, the World could see what they were doing… Simple as this, if you don’t have it, and no one in your house has it…You have virtual ZERO chance of getting it, if you comply with the Government instructions! I know that it’s not easy, more so in Cities… But we can do this, it’s still only a small Island!….
No relegation from Div 1,and no players heading to the AFL for 2 or 3 years.
I’d echo Willie Joe’s aversion to conspiracy theories about germ warfare and whatnot. China is going to take a huge economic hit as a result of this pandemic, as a result of value chains being interrupted. A report from the UN Commission on Trade and Development yesterday estimated at between 30 and 40 per cent of international investment may be lost worldwide in 2020 consequently.
There are already prominent voices in the business world speculating that the era of China being the global center for low cost manufacturing is over, with many multinationals considering moving part of their operations to other Asian countries.
None of this is in their interests, especially in the middle of a trade war with the US. And that’s before we begin to consider the large death toll there.
Although: these live animal markets in East Asia need to be better regulated. This is the third such epidemic/pandemic that has originated there, following avian flu and SARS. Also, we need to find an alternative to eating bushmeat for the many hundred millions of poor in this world, especially bats, given that Ebola, SARS, and avian flu all seem to have come from a similar source.
Thankfully I think they’re now banned the killing and eating of all wild animals in China.
By destroying the habitats of these animals we’re reducing the “natural barrier” between us and them. No simple answers to this as it’s ingrained in their culture and may be the easiest way for them to access animal protein. Add to that poverty and dense population meaning choices are limited so I’d be slow to blame. But is has to stop. It’s not the first virus to emerge this way and probably won’t be the last.
@Leantimes, that PM to the East of us is very clever, got the UK out of a disaster that is the EU.
The EU has not worked, controlled by Germany and France in every way.
What did the EU do for the Cornavurus crisis in Italy, absolutely nothing, Russia, China and Cuba are the only Countries that came to aid the Italians.
There is a reason why Boris and Donald appeared on the surface to take the Coronavirus lightly, this was not to bow to it as all other Countries have done, to the “Chinese virus”.
The PM to the East of us is so clever that he has contracted the virus having flouted all medical advice by going into hospitals shaking people’s hands. A real genius, alright!
Donald Trump is so clever that he abandoned contingency plans for medical emergencies instituted by his predecessor, resulting in the US being the first country to pas 100k cases. Such stellar leadership!
Some people will believe any old garbage if it happens to coincide with their belief system.
Willie Joe,I don’t want to intrude but surely some of those comments have no place on this Mayo has page,sorry to bother you
Mayo 88… The EU has it’s flaws,I grant you that.. But it has been a fantastic since it’s foundations bullwark against European Nation’s going to war with each other for well over half a Century… Britian too is an Island, and not since the Ice Age was part of Conintal Europe…Borris was clever enough to get to No10.. against very poor opposition, it also has to be said…Borris has as much in common with being a good leader of hid divided people (and he and his likes have done so much to widen the divide of the British People), as the Pied Piper of Hamlin had in common with being a good babysitter!..Borris very recently went to a hospital and shook hands with every Coronavirus Patient, and then boasted about it!… The opposite side of the Atlantic, has even worse leadership… And it’s not the Canadian’s, and certainly not much. maligned Mexicans…Thank God, we’re surrounded by Water’!
I know people are bored out of their brains right now but I don’t really want to see this place being used for political debate any more than I do for crackpot conspiracy stuff. That does, in these surreal times, cut down the number of things to talk about but that’s just how it is.
I think we should stick to football on these pages. Leave the auld politics and conspiracy theories to other forums . No live sport but fantastic stuff on you tube. Watched 2016 All Ireland draw today. Loads of other great games available as well, not just involving Mayo Minor and U 21 as well. Keep busy and enjoy past games as well as looking forward to the future..
Years ago when I was a young buck growing up in Willie Joe (Padden) country we only had 2 channels and a a result I was subjected to some awful television programs in the early 80’s like Landmark Mart and Market Today tonight and Folio on a Sunday and a God awful program presented by Liam O’ Murchú called Trom agus Eadroim
Anyway I think Trom means light and Eadroim means serious now stop the lights I could have it back to front in fairness I never brought home the deontas but I agree it would be nice to keep this place light and easy and football focussed for the next while.
I can see why you didn’t get the Deontas, Backdoorsam.
Trom is heavy. Eatrom is light.
I remember those awful programmes too.
Eirsport, showing a lot of our AI finals, still so hard to watch the 96 drawn game to this day. Im 1000% sure had we won that day, we’d have 3 or 4 more AI’s to our name. Its seems with every year that passes, the burden just gets heavier….The players can say it doesn’t effect them all they want, but deep down its in there. Theirs no way it can’t be.
‘Trom agus Eadroim’, definitely was mindnumbing, brutal, beyond words, .. I wonder did RTE have to drug the Audience in order to get the ‘Bula Bus’…On a slightly football related topic, I can remember as a teenager going to a championship match in Castlebar, Mayo were playing Leitrim…I done then what I still do now, brought a small Radio to the Match, (only now it’s my phone) so as I could hear all about the Match I was at, and maybe other Match’s going on the same day… The only Radio Station’s was RTE Radio One, and Two for music in Mayo back then!… Mayo were hammering Leitrim at halftime… Tom ‘The Bomber’ Byrne and Antony ‘Fat Larry’ Finerty had both scored Goals for Mayo in the first half..Pascal Mooney of RTE gave the half time report to the Radio Audience… You would think that Leitrim were close enough…The bizzarly strange thing was that back then, Pascal Mooney was also the manager of Leitrim… What ever happened to him ‘Pascal Mooney’ ?… They made a Senator out of him…Who ever said that men, couldn’t multitask?… Senator, GAA reporter, TV presenter, and GAA County Manager, all roled into one…. but unfortunately Master of None!
Roll on 8 to 10 weeks time , hopefully the peak will be over but if the is still new cases appearing ( which there will) there will be no football played this year
As the days go on, it’s less and less likely we’ll have an intercounty championship this year. Say, for example, the government announce everything is good to go from mid June. What would happen if an intercounty player/manager/selector contracts the virus after that date? That whole county panel would have to go into quarantine and the season would be suspended again!
backdoorsam you reminded of another programme called quick silver hosted by bunny carr , you could make a fortune if you were smart enough to stop the lights
Once the virus is isolated to homes, we can then control the spread.
At that stage we can tentatively return to work, ensuring we all continue to be very careful with hygiene and etiquette.
However, we can’t relax until a vaccine in tested, proven to be safe, and administered to the populous.
There are amazing advancements in synthetic vaccines, some have alrady gone into small scale human testing.
But realistically, you’re looking at Jan. ’21 before it’s approved and scaled up.
Senior NUIG microbiologists are getting full backing and concentrating on anti-viral treatments to hopefully develop effective anti-viral treatments in the interim.
We can be very proud of them, together with HSE staff, and also young bioscience graduates (kids), being snapped up by leading pharmaceutical companies here… Not to mention our foodstores/pharmacies/Garda/Binmen all courageous and committed. Tbh, I don’t give a fiddlers about football/hurling at the moment. Big deal if we have to wait another year..
The Sweeper I remember that awful program too and sale of the century and as for blankety blank….. hopefully we will get to see some football action this year one of the only positives to take from this is it give lads a chance to rest properly and injuries to heal up. If the league is declared null and void or played and we manage to stay up we should prepare better next year and be in a better position to avoid the drop. Though in fairness to James this year he has brought in a lot of new lads and it’s not easy to win games and blood new players all at once
Do you know what was a good programme tough..’Halls pictorial Weekly’ way before it’s time, and from my earliest memories as a kid watching in Black and White..’Wanderly Wagon’… as good Children’s TV as was ever made anywhere, and on fairness most of the music was pretty good way back in 70’s and 80’s.. and the original ‘Hawaii Five O’ was miles ahead of the current poor relation, or is that me showing my age?..I have an idea about Gaelic Football that could bring us back to discussing the game, which brought us to this Blog in the first place… What one rule would you like to see implemented or changed in the Game of Gaelic Football, to make it a better game?… And No it’s not perfect as it is!
Over the last couple of nights, I have watched the 1998 and 2001 AI football finals.
Ja Fallon and Michael Donnellan were superb players at that time.
I agree thoroughly with you WJ – time to focus on some constructive ideas… like tackling the spitting habit that is progressively getting worse in sport.
And what can we do here in Mayo and Ireland to mitigate future risks of disease transmission and spread?
Over the past few years one very annoying aspect of watching live sports is the increasing habit of footballers spitting.
Back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s when no anti-bacterials had been developed to treat the scourge of tuberculosis, spitting was widely recognised as a prime potential source of infection.
Another source of suspected spread of TB back then was poor hygiene standards in the washing of pint glasses in pubs, many often using the same water to ‘clean’ the glasses.
It is an interesting exercise in watching your next live, televised match (whenever that may be) to count how many times you see players wantonly spitting. Some have developed it into an art form. All sports people do it but especially in soccer where it seems to be almost rehearsed. Thankfully the ladies in all sports appear to have higher standards.
So, thinking positively and constructively, all players should think before they spit. Please keep your spit to yourself, swallow it if you have to but to be perfectly frank, there is no logical reason why you need to spit your saliva onto the playing surface and potentially transmit infection to somebody else!
And what can be transmitted in your spit?
Well, how about these viruses for a start – herpes, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Ebola, Epstein-Barr (glandular fever), Cytomegalic virus and viral meningitis. Among the potential bacteria, you can include tuberculosis and strep pneumoniae for a start.
So the message is, please keep your mouth shut and keep your spit to yourself!
Great blog WJ – keep it up!
i Don’t think I realised how magnificent the Irish summer is till now , the GAA has to be the greatest institution in the world ,it’s importance on so many levels to so many people. It brings such joy to so many lives . Of course we know all this but I wonder will we appreciate it more after this , I know I will (touch wood) . Next time I sit in Mchale park with the aul fella and the young lad I’m going to just take a moment and say thanks for these memories and then revert to type obviously.
AS i sit here this sunday morning my mind goes back to this time last year and we were heading to croke park for the league final.what a great day it was. I think the championship will be played as a knockout ,like the old days this year .if the draw is left like it is for the connacht championship MAYO could go all the way this year .we would be playing the ulster champions in the semi-final.that is something good to look forward to.
A year ago today we won the League and the Green and Red boomed loudly over Croke Park !!!
The love of Mayo has bonded us in a way no other county can understand – we are special fans so today pull on your Mayo jersey look back over the good times .
Until we meet again in Mchale or Croker or one of the other far flung pitches .Few other fans have had these journeys we will prevail.
Take care .
Man of Aran…….the WHO stated on Friday, that it is likely to be 18 months before there is an acceptable vaccine for Covid-19.
Apparently, it’s a complex and drawn out process..The anti malaria drug, that Trump was placing his faith in, was dismissed as the solution during the week, as initial trials in China, showed that it was no more effective than conventional CoronaVirus care.
Jimbo, God bless your optimism re the Connacht Championship..I see it as a potential minefield tbh.
Apologies to Willie Joe, didn’t mean to get on the soapbox there.
We are a long way away from a vaccine, though apparently Bosch have invented a decide that allows for identification of positive cases, within a few hours, as opposed to the several days it’s taking now.
Back to football…
One thing I would take out of the game is massed defences; Gaelic football was a lot better spectacle when players largely held their positions. Maybe there can be a limit on the number of defensive players within their own 45 during open play? The ref might have some difficulty but hopefully the linesmen and umpires could track it.
Micky Harte is an exceptional manager but his legacy has been horrible for the spectator.
On a positive note it looks like Mayo are still the League champions going into 2021. Going for the three in a row next year. Remind you of anyone? Thank you India, thank you terror, thank you disillusionment…
Any opinion on playing the likes of Tom Parsons, Colm Boyle in the full back line, in future matches?
Might not be able to cover every blade of grass as before, but still good ball winners, composed, game readers who can support the younger or less experienced players.
Ah yes. Mart and Market. Tv gold.
Oh and I’ve seen the Willie Joe celebration after Colm Boyles point v Donegal in 2013. It was more of a rain dance than a jig. A thing of beauty. Willie Joe, you say “Morto” when it went out on national television. I’m having none of that. It was brilliant. I threw a few quare shapes myself that day. None captured by the cameras thankfully.
Watched the 2013 game v Donegal last night. Donegal were ok for first 10 mins, but after that we just decimated them. We were absolutely ravenous, the intensity was just immense all over the pitch!! What a performance. How that team didn’t win at least one all Ireland is just heartbreaking.
The ship may have sailed for that team, but no better man than James Horan to bring through the next team.
Looking increasingly unlikely there will be a inter county championship in 2020 though
It has to said, our Government is doing a great job.Its a pity people didn’t realise this in the election in February.Leo Varadkar ,Simon Coveney, and Simon Harris as good as any politicians around the Globe during this crisis.
@Chris Kelly…We live on an Island,..we would still be living on an Island regardless of who was in power! ..We have less ICU bed’s than any and every other European Country per Capita… and 1/4 of what Germany has per Capita…Who allowed all the Italians Rugby Supporter’s, from the North of Italy, the then epicenter of the Virus..(230 Italians had died from Covid 19, the week to the 7th March) come to Dublin for the Weekend of the 7th March?.. Who showed any leadership in trying to stop thousands of Irish people intermingling at a mass gathering called Cheltenham a few weeks ago..Too many of our political leaders were behaving like spoilt children, including the 3 you named.. playing Political Game’s with pretend and not even pretend effort to form a Government..Sufficient and Compelling Scientific evidence was there for the some decisions to have been made, that unfortunately were not taken, where time was of the essence… This is not an endorsement of any of the other opposition parties either..Why have we not yet a National Government, with all the major player’s involved, getting the best possible social cohesion?..Pity our Political leader’s did not realise the urgency of the situation as it unfolded in late February and early March… Hope the people realize that as well the next time they get a chance!
Chris, you ain’t seen nothing yet..
Wait ’till “de..de..de..dah” Micheal takes the reins. The one time Health minister who was always one report away from making life-saving decisions..
Throw Dillie O’Wee into Social Protection and maybe ressurect Joe Jacob to ease the country’s health anxt.. That’s when we’ll have quality leadership… Oh, and don’t forget the glassrai… for freshness…
Ireland, did once upon a time, before my time have one of the best and brightest Health Minister’s the world has ever seen!….Dr Noel Browne… done so much to rid the curse of country of TB… Small reward he got for his efforts as well from ‘Concervative Ireland’ Fianna Faíl and Dev, Fine Gael, The Roman Catholic Church and the (the virtual Political Leader of the so called Republic) Archbishop McQuaid, and even his own party, the Labour Party in the End, all undermined one of the greatest Irish Patriots (who never fired a gun) ever to have lived…If you don’t believe me, have a visit to your local Cemetery… have a look at the Gravestones….Big family’s back in those days…late 40’s the 1950’s… look at all the people that died in quick succession to each other, many many in their teens and their 20’s, mostly of TB….. Many taught that we were very well governed back in those days too….The evidence is still on the Gravestones, it says something different…
All – just a reminder again that this isn’t a place for political discussion. I’m going to start deleting comments of this kind of people keep posting them.
This feckin Covid-19…..I blame the county board….!!
Lads there still is one Prentyesk way to decide the league . We take on Galway behind closed doors in a penalty shootout behind closed doors in a big gym in Galway some place. We take on Tyrone in a shootout in An Sportlann. We might have to run the championship along similar lines. A no brainer if you ask me!!!
@2 hops, if you could play it on ‘Playstation’.?.. Year’s ago in the UK, if bad weather affected the football leagues… and some games were called off as a result, as far as the ‘ Football Pools’ were concerned….A ‘Pools’ panel would sit and decide what was likely to have happened..eg…. Home Win, Away Win, Score Draw, or No Score Draw… You could in theory win an absolute fortune on the decision of the ‘Pools Panel’… For younger reader’s.. The Football Pools’ were the forerunner of the ‘Lottery’.. Don’t know if they are still in existence, haven’t heard about them for years!
I see David Brady is on lorchagael Thursday night. He was a good servant to mayo football in his day.
I cant understand why some people here have such a set on John Preinty–someone has to make the decisions
Jr ,I think J .P gets a fair bit of credit for his good decisions here. In fact I will personally carry him shoulder high around Bekan on the day he gets the new roof on it. That place is perishing at the moment.
Deja Vu – is all that content publicly available? Unless it is, I’m afraid I can’t let that link go up in light of obvious issues re IP infringement.
Not sure about that Willie Joe so probably best not to let it go up. Pity because I have all the league games as well but better to err on the side of caution.
Thanks, Deja Vu, I think it is as well to leave it so.