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'Concerns and reservations' mean Waterford footballers won't travel to Antrim

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

09:25 22 Oct 2020

Waterford GAA have released a statement confirming why their senior footballers are unwilling to travel to take on Antrim in Division Four of the Allianz National Leagues this weekend.

This latest development comes after reports last night that a number of Déise players had been reluctant to travel for the match.

The game was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Ballymena, and although Antrim offered to play the game at a different location further south in the county, they weren't open to giving up home advantage in the tie.

Waterford had said they would, and still are, happy to play the game in a neutral venue in the Republic of Ireland, but that now looks unlikely to happen.

The Waterford GAA statement outlined why they had to take their players concerns about travelling to the game into account.

"Unfortunately, having weighed up all the options and having regard to the genuine concern of our players, we had no choice but to concede our final league match versus Antrim this weekend.

"This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, particularly given the fact that our game versus London scheduled last weekend also fell victim to the Covid-19 crisis, which puts us in a very vulnerable position going into the first round of the championship versus Limerick on Saturday, 31 October, given that they will have had the opportunity of having played two league games.

"At the end of the day, our players come first as they have put everything on the line to date to make themselves available to play for their county and irrespective of the impact our decision may have on the final league standings, the management team felt obliged to respect their health and welfare concerns in not wanting to have to travel to Antrim this Saturday for a 2pm throw-in."

The statement said a number of health and work-related concerns from players and coaching staff had ultimately led to the decision not to travel across the border.

"The personal family circumstances of some of the players, leading to conerns and reservations within the playing group of travelling to the Belfast area.

"These personal circumstances must be respected. Further, the reservations of spending a night in a hotel, coupled with the risk associated with the general exposure relating to the 24-hour period."

Another reason was due to "the employers of several players and members of the team management stipulating that a 14-day isolation period would be required on returning from Northern Ireland."

This comes as Roscommon's senior footballers get set for their Division Two clash in Cavan at the weekend with a positive coronavirus case hitting their squad.

A number of other members of the Rossies panel are self-isolating as they have been deemed close contacts of the positive case.

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Allianz Leagues Antrim Gaa Coronavirus Covid-19 GAA Waterford Waterford GAA

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