GAA in the dark over inter-county challenge games

April 30, 2021

The Allianz Leagues return on 8 May.

The GAA are awaiting clarification from the Government about whether or not inter-county challenge games would be allowed following the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

There was good news for the Association in Thursday’s announcement by Taoiseach Micheál Martin with adult club training permitted from 10 May, while games behind closed doors may take place from 7 June.

However, there were no mentions of when challenges between inter-county teams will be allowed. 

Counties were hoping to play warm-up games in preparation for the start of the Allianz Leagues early next month.

The GAA are also seeking clarity on when inter-county U20 and minor squads can return to training. 

"The broad announcements yesterday did not make any reference to when challenge games will be permitted at inter county level," a letter sent out to clubs and counties by GAA president Larry McCarthy and director general Tom Ryan reads.

"Nor was there any reference to when inter county U20 and Minor teams may return to training.

"We are currently seeking clarity on these two points and will communicate directly with county secretaries in this context once we receive it.

"In the interim, we would ask for your patience while we complete this work and we look forward to communicating in detail with you all again as soon as possible in relation to the resumption of GAA activity.

"We are currently liaising with the relevant Departments to seek further information on the finer details of what will be permitted at various points in the recovery plan.

"For the moment, we would ask for your patience in relation to questions you and the broader membership no doubt have in relation to the various return dates and the specifics of what will be allowed. It is our intention to issue a more detailed communication to clubs and counties next week and once further information is available.

"In the interim, we would remind all clubs in the 26 counties of the following: Until May 10, only training for underage teams (non-contact and in pods of 15) is permitted; ‘underage teams’ means any registered team at U-18 level or below; all indoor facilities must remain closed (exception: toilet facilities); fundraising events on GAA property are not currently permitted; gym facilities must remain closed (exception: Senior Inter County players may use their relevant Club Gym for individual training as long as they are following the advice in the Inter County Return to Training and Play document)."

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