GAA to embark on split season virtual roadshow

Fixtures task force plan to present new calendar proposals
GAA to embark on split season virtual roadshow

The Eddie Sullivan-chaired committee had planned to explain their options to change the face of the All-Ireland senior football championship and the GAA master fixtures calendar prior to the pandemic.

The GAA’s national fixtures task force are set to embark on a virtual roadshow to present their split season proposals.

The body convened on Wednesday and will again next month before disseminating the versions to provinces, counties, players and clubs.

The Eddie Sullivan-chaired committee had planned to explain their options to change the face of the All-Ireland senior football championship and the GAA master fixtures calendar prior to the pandemic.

However, the strong support for the split season, with the county window preceding the club, has prompted them to revise their recommendations, although the football options are similar to before - the Super 8, the backdoor system, the four provincial conference of eight teams and flipping the Allianz League and Championship.

The committee will take feedback from the various units before finalising the versions, which will be put to Central Council to propose to Annual Congress earlier next year with a mind to one of them being implemented in 2022.

The GAA’s Management Committee maintains emergency powers until December and it is expected the Central Competitions Control Committee will advise them to endorse a shortened inter-county calendar for 2021.

Meanwhile, the Allianz Division 2 hurling final between Antrim and Kerry is set to be played in Tullamore’s Bord na Mona O’Connor Park on Sunday, October 18. The winners replace Carlow in the top flight in 2020.

The game, which was supposed to be played in March before the GAA ceased all activities, was also set to be played in Croke Park. However, the Central Competitions Control Committee are understandably keen to reduce the number of early inter-county games in Dublin as the county is currently subjected to higher restrictions than the vast majority of the country. 

That could spell bad news for the Leinster Council who had been hoping to stage the majority of their games in Croke Park. It is believed a number of first round and quarter-final football games have been fixed for provincial venues with Offaly set to enjoy home advantage in their clash with Carlow.

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