‘It is the one festering sore’ – GAA still uncertain on playing remaining 2020 county finals

THE NUMBER OF 2020 county finals around the country that have yet to be played, has been described as ‘the one festering sore’ from this year by the GAA.

The inter-county senior championships were wrapped up at the weekend but several counties are still waiting to complete their flagship senior competitions since the club action was suspended in early October.

In football the finals in Cork, Waterford and Donegal are still to be played while there are semi-finals still down for decision in Carlow, Laois and Longford. In hurling the finals in Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Meath are still outstanding.

Those games have been provisionally pencilled in for early 2021 but with increasingly volatile Covid-19 situation, there is still huge uncertainty about when those games will be played.

Feargal McGill, the GAA’s director of club, player and games administration, admits it is a regret they have when reflecting on the 2020 season.

“For all the success we had this year, the one outstanding sore for me is we had a number of club teams who embarked in good faith on their championship journey and were caught at final stage in particular. We have a couple of semi-finals that are outstanding as well.

“It’s really, really hard on club players and teams, and the uncertainty around it hasn’t helped, but unfortunately it’s out of our hands.

“It was an additional reason for keeping January and February free, that we would be able to hand it to the counties to use if for their 2020 clubs, but unfortunately, until restrictions change, those outstanding games can’t be played.

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“It is the one festering sore from this year, to be honest.”

McGill revealed the GAA are likely to approach the Government for financial assistance in running their championships in 2021 but is conscious that is something all sporting bodies are in need.

Fergal McGill from the GAA.

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“Look it, we will find a way, as we always have, of financing the competitions. It would be terrific if the government helped us again, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that.

“Obviously, everyone in sport is looking for help, it’s not just the GAA at the moment. Down the road, I’ve no doubt those conversations will take place. Time will tell. We haven’t had any conversations around this with the Government yet but in due course we’ll see where that lands.

“I would hope people recognise the success the GAA championships were and the role they played in hopefully distracting people and giving them something to look forward to at the weekends.”

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