Possible papal visit pushes back All-Ireland football final

The final had been brought forward in an attempt to deal with the club fixture chaos

Pope Francis could be saying a mass at Croke Park on the last weekend of August 2018. Photograph: Getty Images

Pope Francis could be saying a mass at Croke Park on the last weekend of August 2018. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Next summer’s All-Ireland football final will be pushed back by one week in anticipation of Pope Francis’s possible attendance at the 2018 World Meeting of Families’ mass in Dublin.

The 2018 championship sees the beginning of the ‘Super 8s’ experiment, wherein the All-Ireland final was to be brought forward to facilitate a smoother running of club championships.

However GAA director of games administration and player welfare Feargal McGill told the Irish Examiner on Thursday that the final will be held on Sunday September 2nd, and this was confirmed by director general Páraic Duffy on RTÉ Radio 1.

As explained at last weekend’s Special Congress, the hurling final will be set for August 19th. The football final was to take place on the weekend of August 26th, before news of the possible papal visit emerged.

Croke Park is in line to stage the concluding mass of the six-day celebration that weekend. From 2019 the football final is expected to revert to an August date.

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