SPORTS clubs and players have been given a glimpse of the way out of their Covid-19 lockdown.
In the Government’s latest exit plan, announced this evening, a number of key dates have been outlined.
Inter-county GAA training will resume on April 19, meaning that competitions such as the National League may be up and running in mid-May.
The Association had hoped to get the green light for an April 12 resumption of training.
However, that has been put on hold by a week. The GAA says it expects to issue a revised programme for its competitions by the end of next week.
Minor and Under-20 teams are yet to hear about their respective returns.
In a joint letter, GAA President Larry McCarthy and Director General Tom Ryan, told county and club secretaries: “These are hugely welcome developments and allow us finally to begin planning on-field activity for the remainder of 2021.
“However, it should also be noted that these dates are conditional and will very much depend on what happens in terms of the overall Covid-19 picture in the coming weeks.
“For that reason, it is more important than ever that no collective training sessions are held between now and the Government indicated return dates. Breaches in this context will not only be dealt with under our own rules but would likely put the broader plan to return to activity in serious jeopardy.”
Sports such as golf and tennis will return to play on April 26.
On the same date, children will be able to partake in non-contact training within pods of 15.
Adult football, for instance senior club GAA and soccer leagues like the Donegal League, Inishowen League and Ulster Senior League must also play a waiting game.
“Non-contact training in pods of 15 represents the start of a return for our game that will see all our players at all ages permitted to train and then to play in what we hope will be the near future,” the FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said.
“This battle with COVID-19 has been so demanding for Irish society and our footballers have had to endure so much in Level 5 lockdown.
“Our adult amateur game will unfortunately need to continue to be patient as we await a return to training for them and of course playing matches, but our game has proven itself to be safe in a Covid-19 environment and I urge all clubs to maintain this as we return in the first instance to training for our younger players on April 26th.”Tags: