Longford GAA still at a standstill with possible changes to 2020 county championships structure

Curse of the Coronavirus: No GAA activity nationwide until April 19 at the earliest

Padraic O'Brien

Reporter:

Padraic O'Brien

Email:

padraig.obrien@longfordleader.ie

Longford GAA still at a standstill with possible changes to 2020  county championships structure

According to Longford Secretary Peter O’Reilly, sport is secondary amid the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic with no GAA activity nationwide extended until April 19 at the earliest. 

“It is a frightening situation, to say the least, but sport is secondary amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.”

Peter is well aware of the need to complete the National League campaign with the two postponed games against Derry (away) and Cork (home) in order for the new Tier 2 Championship (Tailteann Cup) to proceed as planned this year.

“The Tier 2 Championship might not be possible to stage this year, such is the serious nature of the coronavirus, and I really don’t know what is going to happen.

Longford are scheduled to play Louth in the first round of the Leinster Senior Championship on Saturday/Sunday May 9/10 so we will have to just wait and see what the next step is going to be. It is very much a time dependent situation.”

“We might have to look at changing the county championships structure this year, again a time dependent issue, but that will all be discussed when the full county board are given the green light to meet again in line with the government restrictions.” 

GAA Reaction 

The GAA’s Director of Player, Club and Games Administration, Feargal McGill, has said the Association still hopes to complete the All-Ireland Championships as scheduled this year.

McGill admitted though that it’s currently very difficult to plan for the future until there are any further announcements from the Government on when it will be possible to resume organised sporting activities.

“The next critical point for us is likely to be on the week of April 19. We've assumed the Government will make some kind of announcement that week. Whether it's that we're going to continue in this restrictive situation or that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Whilst hoping to still complete the All-Ireland Championships on schedule in 2020, McGill conceded this may be only possible if the provincial championships are played as knock-out competitions in both codes.

“I would imagine that as long as we get back on the playing field or we can start our inter-county championships before the middle of June then we should be able to retain those dates.

“We'd probably have to look at straight knock-out provincial championships in both football and hurling, but, potentially with a back-door as well.”

Two matches that definitely won’t take place as scheduled are the Connacht senior football championship quarter-finals between New York and Galway and London v Roscommon. Both have now been postponed.