GAA can't plan a revised calendar for club or county teams for now

Association confirm no return to training or matches at any level until after Easter
GAA can't plan a revised calendar for club or county teams for now

GAA remains off-limits at every age group over the coming weeks. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

THE GAA will consult with the government in the coming weeks before planning a revised fixture calendar for the year.

There will be no activity at any level before Easter and the Association can't prepare a new-look programme until they know when inter-county and club teams can resume. 

Prior to the government's new plan, which was released on Tuesday evening, many had hoped inter-county teams would be allowed a run-in period to prepare for the league as 'elite amateurs' and that non-contact training would be permitted in pods for young players.

A letter signed by outgoing president John Horan and director general Tom Ryan was sent out on Wednesday, it read:

"A chara, as you will be aware by now, the Irish Government yesterday published their Covid 19: Resilience and Recovery 2021 plan. 

There is no immediate change for sport outlined in the plan and as per our last communication to you, it is clear that no on-field activity will be permitted, even at inter-county level, until Easter at the earliest.

"We will be seeking clarity on certain aspects of the provisions on sport in the new government document and while the document does envisage the return of inter-county games at Level 4 and of some club games in Level 3, it remains impossible to plan a revised Master Fixtures calendar for 2021, as there is no indication at this point of when these levels may kick in. 

A general view of Covid 19 signage at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
A general view of Covid 19 signage at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

"The exercise is further complicated by the need to align our plans with whatever is permitted by the NI Executive for counties and clubs in that jurisdiction.

"In the interim, and despite any speculation you may read or hear to the contrary, we would again reiterate that the GAA have not decided on what competitions may or may not be facilitated in any revised national fixture programme for 2021.

"Such decisions will be a factor of how much time is ultimately available to us, both for an inter-county season and for the broader participation levels that will be necessary for a meaningful club season at both adult and underage levels.

"The next signpost on the road for society is likely to come in the week leading up to Easter. We will again communicate directly with counties and clubs at that point and once government make clear whether they see any further relaxing of restrictions (for example allowing inter-county training or games) being permitted.

"We also want to assure you that we will publish a revised National Fixtures calendar at the earliest possible opportunity.

We thank you again for your patience and understanding of a very trying situation and we look forward with optimism to the resumption of GAA activities at all levels later in the year."

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