Cavan GAA 'absolutely and categorically' won't request venue change for Dublin semi-final

There have been calls for Dublin's 'home advantage' at Croke Park to be removed for this year's semi-final given that no spectators will be permitted whatever the venue
Cavan GAA 'absolutely and categorically' won't request venue change for Dublin semi-final

Captain Stephen Cluxton speaks to the Dublin team during a water break against Meath at Croke Park on Saturday. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

The Cavan County Board say they have not petitioned the GAA to move their All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin outside of Croke Park.

There have been calls for Dublin's 'home advantage' to be removed for this year's semi-final given that no spectators will be permitted whatever the venue for the game on Saturday, December 5th. 

Semi-finals have traditionally been played at Croker in recent decades, apart from the 2014 semi-final replay between Kerry and Mayo, played at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick due to a fixture clash at HQ.

While the game has yet to be fixed by the GAA's Competitions Control Committee, Cavan have released a statement to say they "absolutely and categorically have never considered, nor, have they any intention of applying for a venue change".

Cavan star Thomas Galligan told the Examiner on Tuesday that the Ulster champions would have a better chance of beating Dublin outside of Croke Park.

“I'd just expect it to be in Croke Park because it's an All-Ireland semi-final,” said Galligan. “It would probably help us if it was out of Croker. Ah, it's not up to us to make a call on that, the GAA will make a call on that. We'll play wherever. At this stage we were meant to be long beat, so we'll go out and give them a go.

“Ah look, they're well used to playing there but I think everyone loves to play and wants to play in Croker. I don't think anyone would be disappointed if we had to play it in Croker because growing up that's exactly where you want to play.

"You want to be playing the best team in the country in Croker. If you make it there, you'll make it anywhere.”

Oisín McConville told the Irish Examiner's GAA podcast it was a "no-brainer" to move the game out of Dublin.

"It definitely shouldn't be played in Croke Park.

"All I've heard all year is about the integrity of competitions, integrity this, integrity that, this should not need to be a campaign from Cavan, this should be something that the GAA say 'listen, lads, in fairness, we're not talking about safety, we're not talking about crowds, we're not talking about revenue or letting the most amount of people see a spectacle like this'. We can play this anywhere.

"There's a couple of pitches that can take this game absolutely no problem. I think it's a no-brainer.

"The first thing that should be done is Cavan should get a phone call and be asked if they would like the game to be moved out."

Former Cavan star Seanie Johnston told RTÉ 2FM's Game On: "Do you want to play their best team in the country in their home ground? I don’t think they do.

"Why would Cavan want to go to Croke Park when they could potentially play Dublin in a smaller venue – it's not as if there are going to be huge crowds there."

The Cavan GAA statement read: "Cavan Co Board would like to clarify that they absolutely and categorically have never considered, nor, have they any intention of applying for a venue change for the upcoming All Ireland Semi Final Fixture. We are honoured and look forward to playing the All Ireland Semi Final as is fixed by the CCC."

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