Many expected the All-Ireland football replay to take place on a Saturday but the late start time was not well received by Kerry fans in particular, while Darragh Ó Sé also contested that it was unfair on the players. So why did the GAA come to this decision? Here's the reasoning behind it:
After the 2013 hurling final replay between Clare and Cork, the GAA took the decision to move future final replays to Saturday evenings, thus avoiding a clash with the camogie and LGFA finals on their respective Sundays. With those two days ruled out, the only other option would have been to delay the replay until Sunday September 22nd.
In a letter to the Irish Times' letter section, the GAA's director of communications, Alan Milton, said:
Pushing the final back a further eight days to ensure a traditional Sunday afternoon slot would have caused further inconvenience and a longer delay to both the Dublin and Kerry club championships.
While a Saturday replay was always the plan, this year the decision was taken to have a later throw-in time due to prior television commitments horse racing's Irish Champion Weekend and the Greyhound Derby semi-finals. After receiving criticism from Ó Sé for the late start time, Milton sought to "provide a rationale as to why the game will begin at 6pm and not 5pm."
This is because of the long-standing commitments of our broadcast partners to cover other sporting events on the day, including the semi-finals of the Greyhound Derby and the Irish Champions Weekend in horse racing.
A spokesperson for RTÉ confirmed to the Irish Independent that Horse Racing Ireland has also moved the start time of the Champion Stakes from 6.35pm to 4.15pm at Leopardstown on Saturday in order to avoid a clash with the All-Ireland final.