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GAA to seek clarification

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WARNING: Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

WARNING: Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

WARNING: Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

The GAA are expected to seek more information on the weekend comments by Health Minister Simon Harris that look like bringing closure on the 2020 championship season.

In an interview with the 'Sunday Independent', Minister Harris speculated that mass gatherings would be "highly unlikely" this year, an opinion that has gathered much momentum across the world over the last week as the search for a Covid-19 vaccine continues.

"Could you get to a point where you can't have massive GAA matches but you could have local kids having a kick-about safely? That's the sort of space that we're in, that we need to work our way through," the minister stated.

GAA officials expressed hope that the championships in some format could still take place, even in restricted circumstances, much later in the year and even into next year. But the minister's comments have changed the landscape considerably, prompting further exploration.

Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald said priorities very much lay elsewhere rather than a championship commencement but if it had to be played behind closed doors he said it would be better than no games at all.

"I am still not a fan of playing behind closed doors. It's not the same without fans, absolutely isn't. There is still the case of social distancing which would still be a problem with dressing-rooms, sidelines, along with the presence of officials, media, etc. We must also take players' health into consideration when arriving at decisions," Fitzgerald said.

Meanwhile, the GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) will host a fixtures webinar for county chairmen and secretaries later today that will guide them on the procedural element to making changes to championship structures if they have to later in the year.

However, the meeting will not feature a 'plan' or call to complete schedules by a given date to facilitate an inter-county programme.