GAA does not expect more government curveballs



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The GAA don’t expect to be surprised by a sudden government suspension from their games, as they were earlier this year.

Ten days after releasing the 2021 main fixture list last year, the government withdrew the exemption for senior inter-county matches to be played without notifying Croke Park.

The GAA discovered in February that it had lost its exempt status under previous Covid Level 5 restrictions with devices on hiatus until May.

When asked if they had received assurances that they would be better informed by the government, GAA Director of Clubs, Players and Games Administration Feargal McGill said, “They did not specifically give us this commitment, but we made our points known and we hope for better communication this year.

“We are not arrogant enough to suggest that we should be the first people the government calls when it changes the regulations.

“There are much bigger fish than the GAA blueprint, but there are probably better lines of communication in place than maybe around this time last year.”

Other than halving crowd sizes or to 5,000, whichever is smaller, until the end of January, there was no indication from the government that it was considering suspending matches or putting them behind doors. .

“If government restrictions change, we will respond. But at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any sign of preventing the games themselves, “said McGill who added:” From day one we said as an association that we would follow whatever the government regulations.

“If we were allowed to play our games, we would play them. If we weren’t allowed to play them, we wouldn’t play them.

“In terms of attendance, etc., we made a decision in principle a long time ago that even behind closed doors matches would take place, so to that extent I don’t think anyone is talking about matches that don’t take place. for the moment.

“If this conversation starts, we have to recalibrate, that’s for sure.”

The GAA will not allow a repeat of this year’s SFC All-Ireland semifinals saga that gave future champions Tyrone an extra 13 days to overcome a Covid outbreak.

In the updated rules released yesterday – along with the main 2022 fixture list – the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will only delay the Pan-Irish Finals by more than seven days.

Previously, the semi-finals had also been included as an exception.

Originally scheduled for August 15, the Tyrone-Kerry match was initially postponed for a week, but Tyrone insisted they weren’t able to play at this point.

However, Tyrone then had more time after Kerry officially requested the match to be played and it was finally staged on August 28.

“I think overall we had to deal with postponement requests and a lot of them came into the counties and we helped them with those,” McGill said.

“One of the things we learned was to have stricter regulations.

“I wouldn’t want to attribute it specifically to Tyrone, I just think you need to have strict regulations around postponements and I think the wording change is designed to make it fairer for everyone involved.”

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