CORK basketball clubs have been left hugely concerned about the return to full training and the viability of the season after comments by the CEO of Sport Ireland on Wednesday.
CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy suggested at an Oireachtas committee that indoor sport won't be viable again until a vaccine is available. Under Level 5, indoor training isn't permitted currently, which is having a devastating impact on sports such as basketball, gymnastics and swimming.
Clubs had been hoping to resume behind closed doors in the New Year.
“I don’t know,” said Treacy when questioned on the return of indoor sport. “It’s when it’s safe to do so. You’re looking at the majority of the restrictions being lifted so they can play indoor sports together. That’s a long way away and it’s going to be a long road, unfortunately.
“I don’t think we’ll be seeing indoor sports anytime soon, until we have a vaccine. If you’re (competing in) outdoor sports, you’ve a lot better chance of getting a chance to participate. Indoors is problematic.”
Glanmire and former Ireland women's coach Mark Scannell expressed his dismay at the comments on Twitter.
Irish underage coach Paul Kelleher also voiced the frustration being felt by basketballers on Leeside and beyond.
Basketball clubs had returned training and in Cork played the first round of underage and local league games in early October until the government upped the level of restrictions. The Super League was called off on the eve of the new season, with Basketball Ireland now aiming to tip-off in January for Ireland's elite women's and men's teams.
Cork has five clubs in the National Leagues, two Fr Mathew's teams, Glanmire, Neptune, Ballincollig and Brunell, while Blue Demons are involved in the U20 competition, which had already started before Level 5.
They are all currently in sporting purgatory but had been hoping that a behind closed doors season was on the horizon.