Mayo’s James Horan criticises ‘outrageous’ 26-player match day limit

Covid-19 restrictions have meant members of panel have been unable to attend matches

Mayo boss James Horan has criticised the 26-player limit in place on match days. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Mayo boss James Horan has criticised the 26-player limit in place on match days. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

James Horan has described as “outrageous” the 26-player match day panel limit which has so far been enforced throughout the championship, and called for urgent easing of it ahead of Mayo’s All-Ireland football semi-final against Tipperary on Sunday week.

The situation had also been described as “unacceptable” by Limerick hurling manager John Kiely, given the GAA’s outright limit of 40 people from each county being permitted to attend each game.

“I know John Kiely raised it, and we’ve been saying it for quite a while, but not allowing the panel to go to games is outrageous, to be honest,” said Horan.

“I think the players to a certain extent are being taken for granted, I genuinely do, in a lot of things. We have guys who have given a decade, some of them more, and it may be their second or last time going to Croke Park, or whatever.”

Horan has introduced some 19 debutants over the last two seasons, which means several of his longest serving players aren’t part of that 26-man limit: “So for them to have trained all year, given absolutely everything, and them not to be allowed into a venue is outrageous, it genuinely is. But hopefully there is murmurings it will be changed for the semi-final, we’ll be out of Level 5, but even in Level 5, there are a lot of guys in yellow bibs hanging around a lot of stadiums.

“There are a lot of protocols that need to be in place for sure, but you can’t tell me you can’t have 10 players that have given a huge amount, and have them socially distanced around the stadium for games as well. So I do think that’s key for the All-Ireland semi-final, because it’s an absolute killer for some guys, to be honest.”

Any easing of that 26-player match day panel limit will be entirely dependent on the Government’s review of current Level 5 restrictions come December 1st; it will come too late for this weekend’s All-Ireland hurling semi-finals, but there is the possibility of the 36 players being able to attend the All-Ireland hurling final on Sunday December 13th, plus the football semi-finals (December 5th-6th) and final (December 19th).

Kiely spoke of being “offended” by that 26-player match day panel limit in the aftermath of Limerick’s Munster hurling final win over Waterford earlier this month, which sealed back-to-back provincial titles the first time in 39 years: the Munster Cup, he insisted, would only be presented when all current 36-panel members could be in attendance.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.