GAA: Possibility remains that All-Ireland may spill over into new year

Government to put €15m towards the funding of this year's men's and women's championships

This year’s All-Ireland finals will take place on December 13th and 19th at Croke Park. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

This year’s All-Ireland finals will take place on December 13th and 19th at Croke Park. Photograph: Tom O’Hanlon/Inpho

 

The GAA has said that the possibility remains that this year’s All-Ireland may have to be postponed until 2021.

Speaking at Friday’s remote media launch of the league and championship schedules, which it is hoped will take Gaelic games to the end of a troubled year, Feargal McGill, the association’s head of games administration, was asked was there a possibility that All-Ireland finals or semi-finals could be delayed.

“There is potential,” he said. “I don’t envisage it happening, and I don’t mind saying that on the record. To be honest, if we’re in a situation where seven, eight, nine players are going to be missing then we’ll be at Level 5 and we won’t be worrying about playing games if something like that happens.

“Going on the evidence of thousands and thousands of club games, I don’t envisage that happening but it’s built into our plans at the same time, just in case.”

Separately on Friday evening, the Government released confirmation that it had agreed to fund the championships, men’s and women’s, to the tune of €15 million. This had been referred to two weeks ago when the GAA’s Central Council had green-lighted this year’s championships.

In a statement issued then, the association referred to an “understanding that specific financial supports will be made available”.

The sum is slightly less than the €19.5 million that the GAA had estimated that its championships would cost but it will be welcome. In the Government release it was specified that the grant would be additional to the €40 million, agreed earlier this summer to assist rugby, soccer and Gaelic games to offset losses caused by the pandemic.

McGill also said that only Dublin going to Level 5 of the Government Covid Plan would result in All-Ireland semi-finals being taken out of Croke Park. With hopes fading that any significant spectator presence will be possible for this year’s intercounty championships, there had been speculation that the association could opt for smaller venues.

“I wouldn’t rule anything in or out, but having said that, that would be an absolute last resort. I suppose playing in an All-Ireland semi-final, or winning your provincial championship or whatever, one of the rewards of it is you get to play in Croke Park.

“Whether it’s an empty Croke Park or not, there’s something magical about playing in Croke Park, we all know that. The only way you would imagine that happening is if Dublin was in Level 5 lockdown. And I think NPHET and everyone else would agree that’s a hell of a distance off just now. But I think that would be the only circumstances.”

McGill also said that he was confident there would be minimal disruption to the fixtures because of coronavirus. He was speaking about GAA president John Horan’s recent statement that teams testing positive may have to stand down because of the tightness of the scheduling.

“There have been very few instances where an entire team – in fact there have been none – where an entire team has been ruled out. So we’re not really anticipating that. You will have instances where there’s potentially two or three or four players that can’t participate because they’re Covid positive or they’re considered close contacts. And John was right, the calendar doesn’t really allow much time for postponements.”

The GAA’s timetable is notable for the lack of specifics about the Leinster championships. No venues have been named apart from Croke Park for the football final and even the hurling final is to be confirmed.
“They will be announced when they are finalised,” said McGill. “They took the approach that while they have probably 70 or 80 per cent of their venues ready to go they decided they’ll announce them all in the one go when they have approved them.”

The schedule sees the last two rounds of football league matches taking place on the opening weekends of the season in October. Among these is the first return of Dublin footballers to Parnell Park for a league encounter, against Meath.

Full fixture list

17.10.2020 (Sat)
Allianz Football League Round 6
Division 1

Monaghan v Kerry, Inniskeen, 2pm
Dublin v Meath, Parnell Park, 7pm (Eir Sports)

Division 2
Westmeath v Laois, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
Armagh v Roscommon, Athletic Grounds, 5.30pm (RTÉ)

Division 3
Cork v Louth, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 4pm
Derry v Longford, Celtic Park, 4.30pm
Down v Leitrim, Páirc Esler, 5pm

Division 4
Wicklow v Antrim, Aughrim, 2pm
Carlow v Sligo, Netwatch Cullen Park, 5pm

Eirgrid All-Ireland U20 Football Championship Semi-Finals
Dublin v Tyrone, Kinspans Breffni Cavan, 2.30pm (TG4)
Galway v Kerry, Gaelic Grounds Limerick, 4.30pm (TG4)

18.10.2020 (Sunday)
Allianz Football League Round 6
Division 1

Galway v Mayo, Tuam Stadium, 2pm (TG4 Live)
Donegal v Tyrone, Ballybofey, 4pm (TG4 Live)

Division 2
Clare v Fermanagh, Cusack Park Ennis, 1pm
Kildare v Cavan, Newbridge, 2pm (TG4 Deferred)

Division 3
Tipperary v Offaly, Semple Stadium, 1pm

Division 4
Limerick v Wexford, Mick Neville Park Rathkeale, 1pm

Allianz Hurling League Division 2A Final
Antrim v Kerry, Bord na Móna O’Connor Park Tullamore, 1.30pm

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B Final
Down v Derry, Athletic Grounds Armagh, 2pm

Allianz Hurling League Division 3B Final
Sligo v Leitrim, TBC, 1.30pm

24.10.2020 (Sat)
Allianz Football League Round 7
Division 1

Kerry v Donegal, Austin Stack Park, 2pm

Division 2
Cavan v Roscommon, Kingspan Breffni, 2pm
Clare v Armagh, Cusack Park Ennis, 2pm
Kildare v Westmeath, St Conleth’s Park, 2pm
Fermanagh v Laois, Brewster Park, 2pm

Division 4
Antrim v Waterford, Portglenone, 2pm
Wexford v Wicklow, Chadwicks Wexford Park, 2pm
Sligo v Limerick, Markievicz Park, 2pm

Eirgrid All-Ireland U20 Football Championship Final
Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, TBC, 4pm

Leinster Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final
Dublin v Laois, TBC, 6pm

Christy Ring Cup Round 1
Offaly v Kildare, Bord na Móna O’Connor Park, 1.30pm

Nickey Rackard Round 1
Donegal v Longford, O’Donnel Park Letterkenny, 1.30pm
Monaghan v Mayo, Castleblayney, 2pm
Armagh v Leitrim, Athletic Grounds, 4pm

Lory Meagher Round 1
Louth v Fermanagh, Darver, 2pm

25.10.2020 (Sun)
Allianz Football League Round 7
Division 1

Galway v Dublin, Pearse Stadium, 2pm
Mayo v Tyrone, Elverys MacHale Park, 2pm
Monaghan v Meath, Clones, 2pm

Division 3
Longford v Cork, Glennon Bros. Pearse Park, 2pm
Louth v Down, Drogheda, 2pm
Leitrim v Tipperary, Avantcard Páirc Sean Mac Diarmada, 2pm
Offaly v Derry, Bord na Móna O’Connor Park, 2pm

Munster Hurling Senior Championship Quarter-Final
Clare v Limerick, Semple Stadium Thurles, 3.45pm

Joe McDonagh Cup Round 1
Kerry v Meath, Austin Stack Park, 1pm
Antrim v Westmeath, Corrigan Park, 2pm

Christy Ring Cup Round 1
Roscommon v Wicklow, Dr Hyde Park, 1.30pm
Derry v Sligo, Celtic Park, 2pm

31.10.2020 (Sat)
Munster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final

Waterford v Limerick, Dungarvan, 7pm

Ulster Football Senior Championship Preliminary Round
Monaghan v Cavan, Clones, 1.15pm

Leinster Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final
Galway v Wexford, TBC, 6.15pm

Munster Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final
Cork v Waterford, Semple Stadium, 3.30pm

Joe McDonagh Cup Round 2
Westmeath v Kerry, TEG Cusack Park, 1.30pm
Carlow v Antrim, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm

31.10-01.11.2020 (Sat/Sun)
Leinster Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final

Kilkenny v Dublin/Laois, TBC, TBC

Christy Ring Cup Round 2A

Nickey Rackard Cup Round 2A

01.11.2020 (Sun)
Connacht Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final

Leitrim v Mayo, Avantcard Páirc Sean Mac Diarmada, 1.15pm

Leinster Football Senior Championship Round 1
Louth v Longford, TBC, 1.30pm
Carlow v Offaly, TBC, 1.30pm
Wexford v Wicklow, TBC, 1.30pm

Munster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final
Tipperary v Clare, Semple Stadium, 1pm

Ulster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Finals
Donegal v Tyrone, Ballybofey, 1.30pm
Derry v Armagh, Celtic Park, 4pm

Munster Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final
Tipperary v Clare/Limerick, TBC , 4pm

Lory Meagher Cup Round 2
Fermanagh v Cavan, Brewster Park, 2pm

07.11.2020 (Sat)
Connacht Football Senior Championship Semi-Final

Galway v Sligo, Pearse Stadium, 1.15pm

Leinster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final
Dublin v Westmeath, TBC, 6.15pm

Munster Football Senior Championship Semi-Final
Waterford/Limerick v Clare/Tipperary, TBC, 1.15pm

Ulster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final
Antrim v Monaghan/Cavan, TBC, 1.15pm

Joe McDonagh Cup Round 3
Carlow v Meath, Netwatch Cullen Park, 2pm

07-08.11.2020 (Sat/Sun)
Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Round 1

Christy Ring Cup Round 2B

Nickey Rackard Cup Round 2B

Lory Meagher Cup Round 3
Cavan v Louth, Kingspan Breffni, TBC

08.11.2020 (Sun)
Connacht Football Senior Championship Semi-Final

Roscommon v Leitrim/Mayo, Dr Hyde Park, 1.30pm

Leinster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Finals
Louth/Longford v Laois, TBC, 1.30pm
Carlow/Offaly v Kildare, TBC, 1.30pm
Wexford/Wicklow v Meath, TBC, 1.30pm

Munster Football Senior Championship Semi-Final
Cork v Kerry, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 4pm

Ulster Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final
Fermanagh v Down, Brewster Park, 1.30pm

14.11.2020 (Sat)
Ulster Football Senior Championship Semi-Final

Donegal/Tyrone v Derry/Armagh, TBC, 1.15pm

Leinster Hurling Senior Championship Final
Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, TBC, 6.15pm

Joe McDonagh Cup Round 3
Antrim v Kerry, Corrigan Park, 1.30pm

14-15.11.2020 (Sat/Sun)
GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Round 2

Christy Ring Cup Semi-Final

Nickey Rackard Cup Semi-Final

Lory Meagher Cup Final

15.11.2020 (Sun)
Connacht Football Senior Championship Final

Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, TBC

Leinster Football Senior Championship Semi-Finals
Wexford/Wicklow/Meath v Carlow/Offaly/Kildare
Louth/Longford/Laois v Dublin/Westmeath

Ulster Football Senior Championship Semi-Final
Fermanagh/Down v Antrim/Monaghan/Cavan, TBC, 1.30pm

Munster Hurling Senior Championship Final
Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, TBC, 4pm

21.11.2020 (Sat)
Bloody Sunday Commemoration, Páirc an Chrócaigh

Leinster Football Senior Championship Final
Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, Páirc an Chrócaigh, 7pm

Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Quarter Finals

Joe McDonagh Cup Round 4
Kerry v Carlow, Austin Stack Park, TBC
Meath v Westmeath, Páirc Tailteann, 13:30

21-22.11.2020 (Sat/Sun)
Christy Ring Cup Final

Nickey Rackard Cup  Final

22.11.2020 (Sun)
Munster Football Senior Championship Final

Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, TBC, 1.30pm

Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Final
Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner, TBC, 4pm

Bord Gáis Energy Hurling All-Ireland under-20 Championship Final
Leinster Winner v Munster Winner

28.11.2020 (Sat)
GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final

Leinster Provincial Winner v Quarter-Final Winner

Joe McDonagh Cup Round 5
Westmeath v Carlow, TEG Cusack Park, 1.30pm

Meath v Antrim, Páirc Tailteann, 1.30pm

28-29.11.2020 (Sat/Sun)
Electric Ireland Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Semi-Finals

Connacht Provincial Winner v Munster Provincial Winner
Leinster Provincial Winner v Ulster Provincial Winner

Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Semi-Final
Munster Provincial Winner v Galway

29.11.2020 (Sun)
GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final

Munster Provincial Winner v Quarter-Final Winner

05.12.2020 (Sat)
Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final

Leinster Provincial Winner v Ulster Provincial Winner

05-06.12.2020 (Sat/Sun)
Electric Ireland Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Final

Semi-Final Winner v Semi-Final Winner

Electric Ireland Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship Final
Leinster Provincial Winner v Semi-Final Winner

06.12.2020 (Sun)
Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final

Connacht Provincial Winner v Munster Provincial Winner

13.12.2020 (Sun)
Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final

Joe McDonagh Cup Final

19.12.2020 (Sat)
Football All-Ireland Senior Championship | Final

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