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Dubs in the dark as night games halted

THE GAA has gone back to the Dark Ages by forcing the Dubs to scrap Friday night football.

Bureaucrats have forced Dublin to abandon plans for their league clash with Mayo on March 18.

Football legend Ciaran Whelan, in his Herald column today, argued: "It seems strange. There appears no logical reason not to play on Friday night.

"A Friday night fixture would attract a bigger crowd with increased revenue.

"Rest assured that every player would prefer to be playing on the Friday night, rather than the Sunday afternoon."

The baffling decision makes no sense given the huge crowds that attended the Dubs' nighttime clashes with Cork and Kerry in recent weeks.

The boys in blue had been set to take on Mayo at GAA headquarters under lights on Friday, March 18 but these plans have been scuppered.

Dublin County Board chairman Andy Kettle said he was shocked by the GAA's decision to deny the fixture.

"I don't know what the reasons were for Croke Park's decision. We just got word that it won't be happening," he said.

Kettle believes the decision could result in a 5,000 reduction in the Croke Park attendance for the Mayo game.

"With the weekend that's in it, all the huge sporting events taking place, it could have added to a very exciting schedule," he said.

"But sometimes you have to grit your teeth and accept decisions."

The Friday fixture had been eagerly anticipated but now must compete with Ireland's crunch game with England in the final game of the Six Nations.

hnews@herald.ie