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Sligo not fielding a team for...
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Sligo not fielding a team for Connacht semi-final with Galway

Sligo footballers are set to become the first team to forfeit their place in the 2020 All Ireland Championships. 

They will not field a team for Saturday's Connacht semi-final with Galway at Pearse Stadium.

The decision was taken following an online meeting of the Sligo GAA Executive on Tuesday night. A late night statement from Sligo said it's "impossible" to fulfil the fixture.

It's believed seven members of the panel, along with a backroom team member tested positive for COVID-19.

Five other tests took place on Tuesday with those results returning as inconclusive.

Sligo GAA said on Tuesday morning that they were liaising with Croke Park officials, and with Connacht GAA, regarding Saturday's game in Salthill.

The GAA's rules regarding matches played in this year's Championships state, "For all championship Round Robin or Knock-out games, where a County is unable to fulfil a Championship fixture due to issues related to Covid, the game will be awarded to the opposing team (walkover), but without any further penalty being imposed.

"Exceptions: 1. Where there is a clear 13 days between the original fixture and the next scheduled round of the competition. 2. All Ireland Semi-Finals and Finals."

There is a week between the Connacht semi-finals and final, but there are then three-weeks between the Connacht final and the All Ireland semi-finals.

Galway will play either Roscommon or Mayo in the Connacht final.

Sligo GAA statement: 

Sligo GAA have taken the tough decision to withdraw from this weekend’s Connacht SFC semi-final versus Galway.

Paul Taylor and his management team along with the panel of 32 players have been working together since September. Due to the unforeseen circumstances of players testing positive for Covid-19 and other players deemed as close contacts, makes it impossible for Sligo to fulfil the fixture.

The county board executive along with the players and management are extremely upset at having to make this decision. The players themselves are hugely disappointed at not having the option of a re-fixture and feel the outcome has been forced on them, whilst understanding that in these unusual times it is not possible to take part this coming weekend.

All affected by Covid-19 findings are following the requisite HSE guidelines and we are glad to report doing well at this time.  

Sligo GAA have informed GAA officials at Croke Park and Connacht GAA of this regrettable but correct decision.

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All-Ireland Football Championship Connacht Football Championship Connacht GAA Coronavirus Covid-19 Galway Sligo Sligo GAA

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