Cork v Kerry clash will move to Killarney due to Páirc Uí Rinn capacity

Cork v Kerry clash will move to Killarney due to Páirc Uí Rinn capacity

Cork’s Brian Hurley dejected after the hammering against Kerry in last year's Munster final in Killarney. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

CONFIRMATION of the Cork-Kerry Munster football semi-final being switched from Páirc Uí Rinn to Killarney on May 7 is expected during the week.

A scheduled meeting of the provincial council’s Central Competitions Control Committee is set to ratify the move.

Cork chairman Marc Sheehan said they had heard nothing yet.

“It’s a Munster Council matter, but our position is we want the game to be played in Cork,” he said.

In return, Munster will offer Cork another home game against Kerry in the future as compensation for losing out on the fixture.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh would normally house the meeting of the great rivals, but the venue is not available because of the Ed Sheerin concert.

That’s taking place the week before and remedial works on the playing surface will not be finished in time for the game.

CAPPED

Páirc Uí Rinn’s capacity was put at just over 9,000, but the cash-starved Munster Council is planning for a greater financial return from switching the tie to Fitzgerald Stadium.

The Council reported a drop of €10m in gate receipts due to Covid in 2020 and 2021, reflected in a limit of 2,500 people at last summer’s final when Kerry registered a record win over the Rebels in Killarney.

Munster would hope for an attendance of over 20,000 for the Saturday evening throw-in of 7pm which would greatly help swell the council’s coffers. However in recent seasons, outside of the pandemic, interest in the Old Firm meeting has dipped due to Kerry's dominance.

Privately, Cork players and management, who are maintaining a media ban because of the ongoing expenses row between the Gaelic Players Association and Croke Park, were said to be happy to play the game on the tighter Páirc Uí Rinn pitch.

They are likely to be angry at the move which would hand whatever advantage Cork would have had back to Kerry, who will be even warmer favourites to advance to the final.

The official launch of the hurling and football championships is set for Limerick next Monday night even though the GPA has informed Croke Park players will not appear as a protest.

And with some managers supporting the players, council officials may have to pull the plug on the event.

The football starts on April 30 with the two quarter-finals involving newly promoted Tipperary travelling to play Ephie Fitzgerald’s Waterford in Dungarvan at 7pm and Clare hosting another promoted side, Limerick, at Cusack Park at 6pm.

The final is scheduled for May 28 with the All-Ireland, which is restricted to 16 teams this season, getting underway on June 4 involving sides beaten at the provincial semi-final stage.

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