The All-Ireland U20 hurling final, due to take place this Saturday, is expected to be rescheduled as a result of Cork being unable to fulfil the fixture due to a positive Covid case.
Cork were only informed of the development by the HSE on Sunday evening, a matter of hours after the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) confirmed their clash against Galway would take place in Semple Stadium at 3pm this Saturday.
Cork have informed Croke Park and the CCCC, who are expected to push back the game until the end of the month.
This evening Cork GAA chairman Marc Sheehan told RTÉ Sport: "We expect that all going well and in terms of the protocols being followed, that match will be rescheduled."
A close contact must restrict their movements, that is to stay at home for 14 days. Should they return a negative test 10 days after they were last in contact with their person who tested positive, such measures can be lifted.
The HSE’s decision to instruct all members of the Cork camp to quarantine as a result of one positive case would appear to be on the strict side. Neither the Dublin senior hurlers two weeks ago nor Tyrone senior footballers this past weekend had to stand down as a result of a positive case in each camp although a handful of players in each group were unavailable as a result.
The Cork statement read: “A member of the Cork U20 Hurling group has tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, all players and management have been deemed as close contacts by the HSE. Therefore, Cork will be unable to fulfil Saturday’s All-Ireland U20 final fixture at this time."
A close contact is defined as “someone who had contact with an infected person (being contact within two metres and for more than 15 minutes), stayed in the same close environment as an infected person (including sharing a workplace, classroom or household or being at the same gathering) for any amount of time or travelled in close proximity with (that is, within one-metre separation from) an infected person in any kind of conveyance.”
Ironically, Shane Barrett and Alan Connolly could be available to Cork’s U20s depending on the rescheduled date. Should it take place after the seniors exit the championship, they will be eligible to line out for Pat Ryan’s side.
The Cork U20 hurlers will not be able to fulfill their All-Ireland final this Saturday after a "member of the group" tested positive for Covid-19.
All players and management have been deemed as close contacts making it impossible to field a team against Galway next weekend.
Cork, who only three weeks ago won the delayed 2020 All-Ireland U20 title, beat Tipperary and Limerick in the past fortnight to earn their place in the final.
They will now hope the game, which is fixed to take place at Semple Stadium on Saturday at 3pm, can be refixed for a later date.
Last year, the Sligo senior footballers were forced to withdraw from the Connacht SFC following a Covid outbreak in their squad.
Earlier this year, however, Wexford's Allianz Hurling League clash with Kilkenny was rescheduled after Covid cases in the camp forced the postponement of the original fixture. In that case, there was a sufficient gap between that game and the next round of League fixtures to facilitate a postponement.
The Cork GAA statement read: "A member of the Cork U20 Hurling group has tested positive for Covid-19. As a result, all players and management have been deemed as close contacts by the HSE. Therefore, Cork will be unable to fulfill Saturday’s All-Ireland U20 final fixture at this time."
Cork GAA Statement:— Cork GAA (@OfficialCorkGAA) August 1, 2021
A member of the Cork U20 Hurling group has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, all players and management have been deemed as close contacts by the HSE. Therefore, Cork will be unable to fulfill Saturday’s All Ireland U20 Final fixture at this time.