The Mid Tipperary GAA board has decided to play behind closed doors all divisional championship games scheduled for the next three weeks.
The Mid Tipp board is the first GAA unit in the country to take the step of putting their fixtures behind closed doors.
There are a number of Mid Tipp minor hurling championship fixtures down for decision over the next three weeks and the arrangement for those games is that a maximum of 40 people from each club - comprising players, management, and club officials - will be allowed enter the ground. One parent or guardian per player will also be entitled entry to the match venue.
The Mid Tipperary junior championship throws-in on the weekend of August 8/9 and while the board hopes to have a ticketing system in place by then which will allow for the maximum capacity of 200 people per game to be met, until then, supporters are asked “not to attend games”.
The limit on outdoor gatherings was to rise from 200 to 500 people on July 20, but the Government yesterday pushed this back to August 10.
“We want to protect the safety of our players and supporters, and we think this is the fairest way to do so,” said Mid Tipp chairman Jonathan Cullen of their decision to keep supporters away.
“It is not what supporters want as everybody has been locked up and everybody wants to get out to games. We just feel we have to make the right decision.”
A statement from the Mid Tipp board read: “We recognise the fact that everyone wants to get out and support their teams in the various championships over the coming weeks, but we now know that it is not going to be possible and we once again appeal to the public to adhere to the decision of the Mid Tipperary CCC and not attend minor hurling games until we are in a position to allow larger attendances at our games.”
The board has said clubs can live stream their games on social media to compensate for the lack of supporter access.
The East Cork GAA division Imokilly will make 100 tickets available for sale for each of their games up to August 10, to be split evenly between the competing clubs.
A mail from Imokilly secretary Michael O’Brien to club secretaries in the division read: “Each club will receive 40 passes for team and officials, and 50 tickets to sell. The East Cork Board always encouraged children to attend our matches and have never been charged, but due to the all-ticket games, no one will be admitted without a ticket that has been pre-purchased at the cost of €5.”