Nou Camp has nothing on Croker, says GAA chief Brennan

GAA PRESIDENT Nickey Brennan believes that Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium is not a patch on Croke Park.

Brennan says he’s looking forward to showing GAA HQ off to new faces when international rugby and soccer games are played there next year.

With Lansdowne Road being redeveloped, GAA headquarters will of course be holding rugby Six Nations internationals and Euro 2008 qualifiers.

“It is not just a matter of these sports organisations using Croke Park and everybody is conscious of the sensitivities involved,” Brennan said.

“The stadium has a history that cannot be obliterated. That history is important to an awful lot of people and we must be sensitive to everybody’s needs.”

He added: “If I was asked what I was looking forward to, it’s the faces of people who have never been there before, who cannot but be gobsmacked by what they see.

“I have been to many stadiums around the world. I was in the Camp Nou in Barcelona and it’s not a patch on Croke Park.

“When people see Croke Park, they’re gobsmacked that we’re an amateur organisation and that we can fill it regularly. Notwithstanding the shenanigans that went on at the second International Rules Test, we got the highest attendance at an international sporting event in this country.

“That was on a weekend when the newly-opened Twickenham, with a match between England and New Zealand, had smaller attendance than Croke Park.”

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