The Gaelic Players Association have requested that further Covid-19 measures be introduced ahead of the inter-county championships, or else they feel that they 'cannot support' the upcoming competitions.
The inter-county season has already seen a number of coronavirus since its return over the last couple of weeks, with Waterford's concession of their upcoming Division 4 fixture in Antrim the latest example.
The lack of testing amongst members of the various panels has also been criticised, with the GPA's National Executive Committee now requesting extra measures be put in place ahead of the championship. The measures requested are:
- Testing amongst all inter-county panels
- The introduction of 'appropriate travel guidelines' to protect player welfare
- That all county boards ensure the playing environment is fully compliant with Covid-19 protocols
In a note released to members by GPA CEO Paul Flynn, the former Dublin footballer said immediate further measures must be put into place ahead of the inter-county championships:
It was agreed that continuing to train and play while the remainder of the population is severely restricted in their movements and activities will only work if we can immediately put in place a range of measures and assurances for our members and the management and backroom teams and all others associated with playing the games in every county.
If steps are not taken immediately to implement testing, to introduce appropriate travel guidelines and to ensure full compliance with the existing protocols, the NEC cannot support the continuation of the 2020 season.
The majority of you want to continue to play the 2020 season, to compete, to bring excitement & entertainment, and bring a level of normality to our communities. You value the role you play within the fabric of Irish society.
This is a role you take very seriously; however, it does not supersede your health, safety, and welfare.
The inter-county hurling championships get underway this weekend, with games in the Leinster and Munster championships, as well as fixtures in the various lower level competitions.
The football provincial championships are due to begin on Saturday, October 31st.