The immediate future of this season’s All Ireland SFC has been cast into doubt with the revelation that Tyrone will not be fulfilling their already re-fixed All Ireland SFC semi final against Kerry. The O’Neill County camp has been ravaged by cases of Covid-19 in the last couple of weeks, with reportedly only 11 members of their group seemingly able to currently train.
A statement released by the Ulster champions read:
“This morning, the Tyrone GAA Management Committee has decided that it is not in a position to field its senior football team in the rescheduled All-Ireland football championship semi-final in Croke Park, on next Saturday,” said the Tyrone GAA statement.
“Having received expert medical opinion on the existing, and future health and welfare of the players who contracted the Covid-19 virus during the period of this last two weeks, and following consultation with the team’s management, this decision has been made with the greatest reluctance, and with deep regret.
“It is acknowledged that the decision taken will cause major disappointment and significant inconvenience for the Association, in general, the GAA fraternity of Kerry, and especially for Tyrone’s patrons and supporters, but the welfare and safety of players has been the over-riding factor in all considerations of this difficult situation.”
Under GAA rules, a team failing to fulfill a fixture automatically forfeit whatever is at stake in the game. In this instance, that would mean Kerry being given a bye into an All Ireland Final against either Dublin or Mayo. However, given the prevailing circumstances, that would seem grossly unfair. Especially in light of the GAA changing their fixture schedule just to accommodate the Pope a few years back. There will surely be more to follow on this…