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Kennedy Cup KO'd by virus

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DDSL Chairman Paddy Dempsey

DDSL Chairman Paddy Dempsey

DDSL Chairman Paddy Dempsey

There will be no annual SFAI Kennedy Cup for the first time since its inception in 1976, as schoolboy leagues begin to scrap their seasons.

Most of the current Ireland squad, including Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Connolly and Troy Parrott, graced the annual Under-14 tournament which takes place at Limerick University.

The event is a week-long festival of football featuring the best of talent representing the 31 leagues in Ireland.

The Covid-19 pandemic had prevented the showpiece going ahead on its original date in June and no suitable alternative can be found later in the year.

Also perishing due to the coronavirus outbreak is the yearly Gaynor Cup, the girls' equivalent of the Kennedy Cup.

The two largest leagues in the country, the Dublin District Schoolboys' League (DDSL) and North Dublin Schoolboys/girls (NDSL) League yesterday informed their clubs of their plans in the wake of the FAI's roadmap to restarting football issued on Friday.

Rather than finish out the league and cup campaigns when football is allowed to resume later in the summer, they will start afresh with a new season.

Commence

The NDSL - and it's sister league the Metropolitan Girls League - are due to commence fixtures on September 5, with the DDSL kicking off a week later. Team training will be permitted from August 10.

DDSL Chairman Paddy Dempsey told clubs in a circular: "The League has decided that the league season of 2019/2020 will cease from today (Monday 18 May)."

On the new season, he added: "The return-to-training on July 20 is under strict protocols. Our tentative return date to commence the new 2020/2021 season is the weekend of September 12 for all age groups under our jurisdiction. All dates are subject to direction from HSE and NPHET."

NDSL and MGL Secretary Tony Gains highlighted the need for their league to act in tandem with the schools. He said: "I can now clarify that the NDSL season is now null and void and a new season will commence the weekend September 5 in line with the children returning to school."