Strict Covid-19 protocols are essential for the 2020 GAA Championship to go ahead

Aoife Breslin

With two weeks to go until the 2020 GAA championship begins, the country is still skeptical as to if this years GAA season should go ahead.

Covid-19 is becoming increasingly worse with the country due to go into level 5 of the government’s 5 level plan this week.

The Gaelic Players Association released a ballot last week asking inter-county players if they wished for the 2020 GAA championship to be held this year. Almost a quarter of players (24 per cent) were opposed to the All-Ireland being played.

However, 52 per cent of players wish for the championship to proceed, leaving the remaining 24 per cent wanting the All-Ireland to go ahead but only if the GAA implement the correct coronavirus protocols and arrangements.

“I’d love for the GAA season to resume this year. We got a taster of the action this weekend with the Allianz League and it was great for all the players and supporters around the country. Covid-19 protocols are being strictly adhered to and I hope we can continue in the same spirits,” said Donegal and DCU player, Oisin Gallen.

With the majority of players eager for the GAA championship to resume as normal, the GAA respect any players that opt out of participating in the 2020 season, as some players are worried about their health and wellbeing.

“I am concerned from a health and welfare perspective, both individually and collectively, for those contributing to the inter-county season,” Westmeath star John Heslin tweeted in reply to Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan.

If the All-Ireland proceeds this year, it will be difficult to see it as a purely fair competition due to possible Covid-19 outbreaks within teams. Some counties will have to step down from the competition if several players on their team test positive.

However, inter-county players have sacrificed a lot in order to play in this year’s championship. If county teams follow the correct Covid-19 procedures, then it’s possible for the 2020 season to proceed as nothing but a positive for the country.

“I think it would be great if it could be finished out. The county teams have a fraction the number of players as club, so I believe that the GAA could really keep on top of testing and contact tracing. It is hugely important for the mental health of the nation that we have an All-Ireland this year, it will all give us something to look forward to” former Galway player Joe Bergin told The College View.

With the joy and spirit that the GAA season brings the people of Ireland it would only be right that the 2020 season is held, especially with the difficult year we have all just had. If the All-Ireland is not to be held in 2020 it will be the first time it has been cancelled in 131 years.

Aoife Breslin

Image Credit: Dublin GAA