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U-turn will see GAA test some county players for Covid-19



Fergal McGill

Fergal McGill

�INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Fergal McGill

The GAA have gone against a previous claim that they wouldn't test county players for coronavirus, in an effort to make sure the 2020 inter-county season can go ahead safely.

At a previous press conference at Croke Park in June, Director of Player, Club and Games Administration Fergal McGill was asked whether tests would be carried out on inter-county squads for Covid-19.

At the time, he stated: "We're not going down the route of testing. We're not a professional sport. Professional sportspeople live and move in their own groups, their own pods, if you like; we don't.

"Our people mingle in the community generally so testing is just not a route we'll be going down."

However, on a media call yesterday, McGill revealed: "We are currently examining what I would call a very limited rapid testing approach, which will only be used in the three or four days leading up to a game if there was a positive test within the squad.

"It would be hugely different to what is in professional sports, but it might be something that helps us ensure that game goes ahead. It's currently at tender stage so I can't comment much about it, but I would emphasise again that it would be a very limited approach."

McGill was also pressed on the idea that a team may have to stand down if they have a number of players carrying Covid-19.

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"We are not really anticipating that," he said.

"There might be instances where there will be one or two, maybe three or four players that can't participate because they are Covid positive and considered close contacts.

"The calendar doesn't really allow for postponements and one of the regulations that we put into our competitions is that we will only really be able to grant postponements where there is a 13-day window between the round the team is looking for a postponement and the next round of competition.

"But there are very few instances where that is allowed. One exception to that is All-Ireland finals and semi-finals."

He continued: "We can't be complacent and say it won't happen, but it would be extremely unfair to the control measures that the GAA have put in place and people who have implemented those control measures from the questionnaires to having facilities prepared.

"It wouldn't be fair to those people to sensationalise and say that everything is going to go around."

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