MEASURES expected to be announced by the Government to retain the current restrictions on numbers at gatherings will come as a blow to sporting clubs and organisations.
At present, 200 people can attend outdoor gatherings and 50 can be present at indoor gatherings.
Under phase four of the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions, those numbers were to rise to 500 and 100.
However, due to fears regarding the increase in Covid-19 cases in recent days, it is believed that the current restrictions will remain in place until at least August 10.
Donegal GAA club games are set to get underway this weekend with games in the new Regional League as well as the Ladies Championships and Hurling Championships.
The Donegal senior, junior and intermediate football championships are due to get underway in two weeks’ time.
Games in the Ulster Senior League and Donegal Junior League are also set to get underway this weekend, with the League of Ireland resuming on the last weekend of July, when Finn Harps face Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght.
By then, it had been hoped that attendances of 500 could be facilitated.
Now, though, it seems as if the current limitations will still apply, meaning a maximum of 200 people – including participants – will be allowed at outdoor matches.
Given both the starvation of live sport from the calendar and the derby nature of the games this weekend, many matches in the Regional League would be expected to draw crowds in excess of the permitted number.
The Donegal County Board has told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub that the onus is on the home club to police the attendance. Some clubs have put ticketing arrangements in place.
At a County Management meeting last weekend, the County Board decided to withdraw the club passes. Ordinarily, the passes entitled the holder to gain entry to any adult league or championship game in the county.
A circular to clubs said: “To conform to the regulation of max attendance it would be impossible to determine how many club passes may be used at any game so after much discussion it was agreed that the club passes will be withdraw for this year.
“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but we have no option on this as it would be impossible for clubs to determine how many club pass holders might attend club games.”
Clubs who have already paid for their passes will be refunded.Tags: