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Gaelic players warned to prepare for possibility of no Championship in 2020

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Croke Park may not get to host its signature All Ireland finals this year.

Croke Park may not get to host its signature All Ireland finals this year.

�INPHO/Norman McCloskey

Croke Park may not get to host its signature All Ireland finals this year.

The Gaelic Players Association has warned its members to prepare for the possibility that there won’t be a championship this year.

The players’ body briefed captains and representatives from every county via video-link last night and outlined that while every effort will be made to host a championship this year, they conceded that there is a possibility that the Covid-19 pandemic may yet force its cancellation for 2020.

Friday night’s Special Congress is set to give the GAA’s management committee powers to formulate this year’s championship in any way they see fit to allow for the ever-changing circumstances.

The GPA will have one of 67 votes at that meeting and while they accept the GAA can’t give a concrete date for the start of any action, they will seek further clarity on periods that are certain to feature no games to allow its members to plan accordingly.

The GPA are expected to release a statement today but its understood they will also seek a run-in time to any game of up to four weeks should the GAA opt to stage their championship.

The Clar for Friday’s Special Congress shows that delegates will be asked to hand powers to the GAA’s management committee by adding a new Rule 3.61 to the Official Guide to allow for “Special Emergency Circumstances” which “which make it impracticable to conduct the affairs of the Association in accordance with the Rules.”

The rule declares that “Special Emergency Circumstances” shall be for a specified period of no more than twelve weeks” but may be extended by eight week terms upon approval from Central Council, clearing the way for the GAA to make quicker changes to championship formats. Previously, any changes to competition structures had to be put before Annual Congress.

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Each county will have one delegate tomorrow night along with 14 overseas representatives. Trustees, past presidents and provincial chairpersons make up the bulk of the rest of the delegates who will be part of tomorrow’s Special Congress.


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