Inter-county teams will be told by the GAA that they cannot officially return to collective training until September.
The stipulation comes as details of the Association’s plans to restart Gaelic football and hurling were released to their management committee and Central Council on Thursday evening.
GAA director of player, club, and games administration Feargal McGill, who is on the organisation’s Covid-19 advisory committee, was among Croke Park officials who briefed delegates about the roadmap in a teleconference.
Details of the plan will not be released until the Government confirm on Friday that the phase two of its own roadmap will go ahead on Monday. Not only is it expected that pitches with walkways will reopen pending application next week but the GAA are set to allow training to resume on June 28, the start of the Government’s phase three, instead of July 20.
In news that was greeted with relief and cheer by delegates, it is envisaged that club action will return in mid to late July with the possibility that counties could have 10 weeks or more to complete their championships. It had been suggested that the provincial and All-Ireland club competitions could be jettisoned but that has yet to be confirmed.
The GAA maintain the inter-county scene will recommence in October with a straight knock-out format being adopted in both senior football and hurling championships. It is expected that will run up to the end of November with a strong chance one of the major games could coincide with the Bloody Sunday centenary commemoration in Croke Park on November 22.
The Central Competitions Control Committee are expected to provide further information on how they envisage the Championships being structured and scheduled although a new provincial draw is not required in football but will be needed in hurling as both Leinster and Munster competitions currently run on a rota system.
A press conference outlining exactly what the remainder of the season from a national perspective could take place next week. The GAA’s roadmap will require approval from the Government’s Return To Sport expert group but that is not expected to be an issue.
The GAA have been buoyed by the expert advice of the medical expertise on their coronavirus advisory body that the extent of the disease is weakening, and while restrictions will be in place for the foreseeable future it is envisaged crowds will be able to attend Championship games in the autumn.