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Sporting bodies urge people to stick to ‘game plan’ and stay at home

Ulster Rugby, the Irish FA and Ulster GAA urged all members and supporters to enjoy the holidays at home.

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Quiet streets in Belfast (Justin Kernoghan/PA)

Quiet streets in Belfast (Justin Kernoghan/PA)

Quiet streets in Belfast (Justin Kernoghan/PA)

The three main sporting bodies in Northern Ireland have issued a joint call for people to stay at home over Easter.

Ulster Rugby, the Irish FA and Ulster GAA urged all members and supporters to stick to the “game plan” and enjoy the holidays at home.

The statement, which incorporates all local clubs across the three sporting bodies, was issued by Ulster Rugby chief executive Jonny Petrie, Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson and Ulster GAA’s provincial secretary and chief executive Brian McAvoy.

They said: “It is now apparent the social distancing measures which have been put in place may be helping to slow the spread of coronavirus, which in turn is helping our health service to battle the virus and look after our neighbours, friends and members.

This match - the people versus coronavirus - is the most difficult opposition we will ever face, and we have to winStatement from Ulster Rugby, Irish FA and Ulster GAA

“However, it remains absolutely essential that each one of us continues to play our part and that means staying at home, staying indoors as much as possible and, if you have to leave the house for essential items, observing the strict social distancing measures.

“As sporting bodies, we are acutely aware that our members feel the impact of the restrictions which are in place. We know the weekend is usually packed with sport, be that playing, coaching, spectating or ferrying young children to and from matches and training. We know our members are missing their games, but the more we hold the line now, the sooner we will be back out there playing our beloved sports.

“This match – the people versus coronavirus – is the most difficult opposition we will ever face, and we have to win.

“So please continue to play your part. Enjoy Easter at home, stay indoors and look out for each other.”

PA