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5k mark an 'opportunity'

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FAI CEO Gary Owens. Photo: Sportsfile

FAI CEO Gary Owens. Photo: Sportsfile

FAI CEO Gary Owens. Photo: Sportsfile

FAI CEO Gary Owens says there could be an "opportunity" for the League of Ireland to aim for a resumption following the break due to Covid-19.

Sporting bodies across the country were last night still taking in the implications of a government order which stated that no licences would be issued for "mass gatherings" of more than 5,000 people before September, though the measure does not yet specify sporting events.

Given that only a handful of League of Ireland fixtures, mainly Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk and Bohemians, have crowds of over 5,000, that raised hopes that some form of activity in the league could resume.

Owens said he will seek "clarity" from government today but hoped that football could be brought back, after the next government announcement is made on May 5th.

"It gives us an opportunity with the League of Ireland clubs because 5,000 could now be a level on which we could now resume the league," Owens told FAITV.

"We really need to understand what they mean by 5,000 in terms of mass gatherings and whether that applies in stadiums and what are the criteria we would have to comply with.

"We have a number of scenarios which include putting it back, working behind closed doors, restricted stadiums. Until we hear what the government have to say, we really can't make a decision."