Scheduling of All-Ireland final replay
A chara, – Further to Darragh Ó Sé’s column in The Irish Times there are a few points worth making in relation to the scheduling of the GAA football All-Ireland final replay on Saturday week (“Timing of All-Ireland replay shows scant regard for players”, Sports Opinion, September 4th).
Following the success of the 2013 hurling final replay involving Clare and Cork, the GAA’s Central Council took the decision to play all future final replays on Saturday evenings to avoid the need to move either the camogie final or the ladies football final out of their planned slots at Croke Park to accommodate the replay.
Another consideration was the disruption a Sunday replay causes to club fixtures around the country, and subsequently every replayed final since has been played with a Saturday evening throw-in.
The only reason greyhound racing was referenced in comments made to the media this week was to provide a rationale as to why the game will begin at 6pm and not 5pm.
This is because of the long-standing commitments of our broadcast partners to cover other sporting events on the day, including the semi-finals of the Greyhound Derby and the Irish Champions Weekend in horse racing.
I think most people would agree that the staging of an All-Ireland final that was not broadcast live on television would be a scenario best avoided.
Finally, pushing the final back a further eight days to ensure a traditional Sunday afternoon slot would have caused further inconvenience and a longer delay to both the Dublin and Kerry club championships and the players and clubs in those two counties, which was something the GAA was keen to avoid. – Yours, etc,