Sunday fixture leaves ladies’ game out in the cold

The rationale for fixing our All-Ireland SFC preliminary quarter-final match against Galway for next Sunday appears to have been prompted by the Tribesmen’s All-Ireland SHC meeting with Tipperary on Saturday, a match that’s been confirmed for the Gaelic Grounds at 6.15pm that evening, part of a double-header that also features Clare and Dublin.

While that’s fine as it goes – although it does mean that the winners of our match on the Sunday could potentially then face a six-day turnaround ahead of the All-Ireland quarter-final the following weekend – and the desire to accommodate Galway supporters who’d like to see both matches is understandable, the decision to fix the matches in this way isn’t a costless one.

This is because at 3.30pm next Sunday the Mayo women footballers are in All-Ireland SFC group stage action. They’re playing Armagh up in the Athletic Grounds – with the venue for this game having only been confirmed inside the last 24 hours, though the fixture itself has been in the diary for some time – and so playing the men’s game in Salthill at 3pm the same afternoon will inevitably mean there’ll be little or no focus on the women’s match.

It also means that supporters who might want to have taken in both Mayo games this weekend won’t now be able to do so. Are the interests of fans who might want to do this of less concern than those of supporters wanting to see both men’s matches? I think we all know the answer to that one.

In this respect, the joint statement made today by LGFA and camogie inter-county players that they’ll finish this season “under protest” (report here) strikes home even more forcefully. The main issue being highlighted in this statement is the failure, by the GAA, the LGFA and the Camogie Association, to develop a charter designed for female inter-county players but it could equally apply to the second-class treatment of female players more broadly.

The decision to fix the men’s Championship match for next Sunday at the same time the Mayo women’s football team already have an important Championship game in the diary illustrates very well the issue that faces the women’s game. While significant progress has been made in recent years, decisions like this one show there’s still a long way to go towards anything remotely resembling equality in relation to ur national games.

9 thoughts on “Sunday fixture leaves ladies’ game out in the cold

  1. Ladies game is like the Lidl add on TV supporting the LGFA. It is an uphill battle, at club and county level. Even on a blog like this ,full of mad Mayo Gaa people, there are feck all comments our Ladies matches or fixtures
    Things have improved over the years but it’s slow slow progress. Must be soo frustrating for the players themselves

  2. The quicker LGFA and Camogie get under Gaa umbrella the better and let them carve out resources fairly for the girls.
    Gaa is such a financial juggernaut now, the girls are being starved.

  3. Willie Joe – this is all a symptom of the larger problem here which is the ridiculously jammed season where every intercounty game has to be played by the end of July.
    The simple solution is to give more time to play all games and release the pressure valve on fixtures which are piled on top of each other by pushing the all Ireland football final back to mid august.
    Even 2 weeks extra in the calendar would make a world of difference and avoid the multiple PR own goals the GAA have made with fixturing.
    As for clubs – you can still start championship on the first week of September. Just like it will be this year in Mayo.

  4. Exactly Mikey Incredible situation yesterday and the weekend with so many big games on. 8 huge knockout matches next week end, 2 in hurling and 6 in football. Season ending for 8 counties and we are still in June. Just can’t understand why and winners of 4 preliminary quarter finals out again the following week. As regards GAA fixing us v Galway on Sunday, it was inevitable and makes sense as Galway hurlers are playing Saturday evening. It is not a conspiracy. And look on the bright side. We will be in the last 9 of the championship anyway

  5. GAA messed up again, it’s not about favouring Galway it’s about money. Could all be averted if they didn’t cram the schedule and load the QF’s against the prelim QF qualifiers. The ladies are being screwed over every time there’s a big pay day for the GAA. This could also have been averted if the players solution from GPA was adopted. Ulster screwed that one up looking out for themselves to the detriment of the greater good.

  6. @Mikey3 You are wrong. The club championship in Mayo starts on the 19th/20th of August. Not sure what calendar/schedule you are following. Club teams train all year round from January/February onwards and suggesting club players should be playing the Semi finals/finals of their championships in late November/Early December is as big an insult to clubs as you can give. The GAA shoehorned extra fixtures into the calendar with the new inter-county championship format and if they were to follow your suggestion, the quality/enjoyment of club football would be seriously depleted playing championship games at a time of year where the weather will be brutal.

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