In a statement issued today the GAA said that it understood the frustration caused to Dublin and Armagh supporters due to the enforced postponement of yesterday’s Allianz National Football League game in Crossmaglen.
It confirmed that the pitch was considered playable up to noon.
The pitch remained playable subsequent to this but following continuous rain and hail from noon the referee decided that the pitch was unplayable at approximately 1.30pm. His decision was on health and safety grounds and he conveyed this to the event organisers.
The GAA also stated that; 'The match referee has sole responsibility for any decision taken relative to the suitability of a pitch from a premise of health and safety and his decision is final. The Association fully understands the desire and aspiration of everybody associated with the teams to play the game but fully supports the referee in his decision as the health and safety of the players has to be paramount and take precedence over other exigencies irrespective of how pressing these may be."
The event organisers, the Armagh County Board considered that it would be logistically impossible to organise and administer a refund operation for supporters on the day as admission was by cash payment at the stiles. It is estimated that there was approximately 1,500 in the ground where an attendance of approximately 8,000 – 10,000 would normally be expected. It was considered that the only option was to admit all supporters into the ground free at the rescheduled fixture. This has provisionally been arranged for Wednesday the 9th April but requires to be fully considered and confirmed by the CCCC at it’s meeting tomorrow.
The GAA has said that it understands and fully accepts the annoyance and inconvenience experienced by supporters but states that in the circumstances there is no more that it could meaningfully do.