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GAA 'remain hopeful' of 2020 championship despite minister's warning

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

11:17 20 Apr 2020

The GAA say they have had no official communication with the Minister for Health, amid growing fears the 2020 season could be scrapped.

It remains unclear when the hurling and football championships will take place, and in what format, following the suspension of all sporting activity.

Health Minister Simon Harris hinted yesterday that major sporting events may need to be cancelled until a vaccination is found to combat Covid-19.

Speaking this OTB AM, the GAA’s Director of Communications Alan Milton says they remain hopeful of seeing action this calendar year, and await an official line of communication.

"We're certainly hopeful. You're right, the weekend represented something of a water-change if those sentiments are to ring true.

"To the best of my knowledge what we heard is not official government policy as of yet, and we expect it to be communicated differently if it is official government policy," he said.

"Having said that, the Minister for Health has a responsibility to citizens to outline what he sees are the threats and the realities all citizens of Ireland have to face, not just sporting people."

It has also been suggested by commentators that games could be played behind closed door in the event that mass gatherings are not allowed.

Milton says it's not something they have considered yet, but may be looked at in the future.

"It's a profound decision for the GAA to take if it has to take it, but I think it would only come into sharp focus if it means no championship at all, or a championship behind closed doors."

However, he also pointed out that they would need to consult with players about returning to action, before a decision is taken.

"And of course, as has been alluded to over the commentary this morning, I think it's a very, very different conversation to have with our players if that was an ask of them, and it may be an unfair ask depending on amateur sports people, depending on what their personal circumstances are."

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Alan Milton All-Ireland Football Championship All Ireland Hurling Championship Croke Park GAA GPA Gaelic Football Gaelic Games Hurling Simon Harris

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