GAA President Believes Gaelic Games Unlikely To Return With Social Distancing In Place

The GAA President John Horan does not expect Gaelic games to return while social distancing measures are in place.

Horan told the Sunday Game; “I can’t see it happening to be quite honest. If social distancing is a priority to deal with this pandemic, I don’t know how we can play a contact sport. That is what Gaelic games is. It is a contact sport.”

“When you look at the level of contact in sports, scrums in rugby are probably at a different level. But I don’t think to say our games are non-contact is correct, no.”

Horan admitted that the association is set to lose €50 million in 2020 with €25 million to be lost centrally by the association including the management of Croke Park stadium.

Horan however believes that games will not take place behind closed doors, citing that if it was safe for football it would be safe to admit spectators.

“If it’s safe enough for the players to be in close contact on the pitch, it will be safe to have people in the crowd.”

Horan also explained why the association closed out all GAA club grounds across the country, a decision which was criticized by Cavan manager Mickey Graham.

“There was a concept in it that people could gather together in groups of four. We felt that just couldn’t be marshalled within clubs and that is why we continue to keep our premises closed.”

“Our clubs are led by a lot of good quality volunteer people and to put the onus on the volunteers within our organisation to make the decision to police and organise training within our facilities, we just felt that would be too much.”

“You would have a group of four here, and there, and all of a sudden you would have a full squad gathering. Then the next thing after a period of that training, they’d probably push on and you could have a training behind closed doors.”

Horan admitted it was unlikely that the 2020 Allianz League would be completed and expects a decision to be made before October if the All-Ireland football championship should be called off.