The Donegal Competitions Control Committee (CCC) has said that moving any of the upcoming SFC and IFC quarter-finals and thus possibly denying teams a home fixture will only be done ‘as a last resort’.
A note in this afternoon’s virtual match programme for the St Eunan’s v St Michael’s fixture put a doubt over whether the top four sides in both competitions are guaranteed home quarter-finals.
It was understood that the top for sides in each would qualify for the quarter-finals with home advantage against the teams who in turn finished fifth to eighth, with first welcoming eighth, second home to seventh etc.
However, in the virtual match programme released by the County Board this morning for this afternoon’s match in Letterkenny, which was won 2-13 to 0-7 by St Eunan’s, under a two-page spread titled ‘Covid-19 Adjustments to Match Regulations’ rule 5.6 states ‘Home Venues may be reviewed after the group stages’.
Traditionally, quarter-finals were played at neutral venues with the run fixtures under the County Board, who this year will still have control although at various club venues.
It is understood that a possible issue might be streaming from remote grounds. Last week, the government restrictions because of CoVid-19 put an end to supporters attending matches and this weekend’s fixtures were played in front scant attendees – each club was allowed 40 in all including players, with match officials, event officials and media.
“We’d like to thank the clubs who managed to stream their games this weekend at short notice following the new restrictions on supporters,” CCC secretary Ed Byrne told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.
“Moving any of the quarter-finals is a last resort for us. We’re willing to work with the clubs and do whatever we can to ensure they get their home fixture and I would urge anyone technologically-minded to get in touch if they are willing to offer assistance to ensure the wifi is of a requisite standard. We also must ensure that stewarding at each venue is up to scratch and again we have been in contact with clubs over this. There are a number of things under consideration but as I said, we will work with the clubs.”
Whilst clubs have endeavoured to stream matches themselves of late, the County Board has set up a “Stream Team” to stream fixtures to supporters unable to attend matches. They plan to cover:
- All Senior football quarterfinals, semi-finals and final
- Senior and Intermediate Relegation Playoff finals
- Intermediate football and Senior hurling semi-finals and finals
- Junior Football Finals
The games streamed by the County Board will be on a PPV basis. The quarterfinals will cost €3
and other games €5 except for the Senior football final which will be €8.
As it stands, the draw for the quarter-finals of the SFC is:
- Naomh Conaill v Glenfin
- Gaoth Dobhair v MacCumhaill’s
- Kilcar v St Michael’s
- St Eunan’s v Bundoran
The IFC quarter-finals are:
- Buncrana v Gaeil Fhanada
- Naomh Columba v Malin
- Cloughaneely v Red Hugh’s
- Aodh Ruadh v Naomh Muire
In the SFC, the relegation play-off semi-finals are Milford against Termon and Dungloe playing Ardara. In the IFC Naomh Colmcille face Burt, while Naomh Brid are down to play Naomh Ultan.
The CCC will confirm the fixtures and venues early this week.