The GAA has delayed making a decision on the return of inter county training by another two weeks following a meeting of their Covid Advisory Group last night.
The group determined that it would be irresponsible to permit a return to training at this time and will now look to resolve the matter when they reconvene on the week commencing the 15th of February.
In a joint statement by GAA Director General Tom Ryan and President John Horan, the pair stated that a definitive date on a return to action was impossible to define due to the fluidity of cases but remained hopeful of a March start.
“There are positive indications in terms of the reduction of case numbers and the continued roll out of the Covid vaccine and as such, the commencement of competitions in the month of March is a definite possibility.”
“We remain committed to providing at least a four-week window for teams between the return of collective training and the commencement of competitive games and remain committed to running all of the various competitions that were outlined in the original Master Fixture plan published last December.”
The GAA had planned to split their season in two for 2021 with the club action to go ahead uninterrupted from July 25th, yet despite the start date of the third week of February for the commencement of the National league now going into March at the earliest they remain committed to this plan.
“I want to re-assure clubs that despite this necessary delay in getting the inter-county season up and running, we remain committed to ensuring a healthy portion of the fixture calendar is allocated to our clubs so that they can return to competition as soon as Government restrictions permit.”
“We are also conscious that outstanding club games from 2020 and the remaining games in the 2020 Minor and U20 inter county competitions need to be factored into the equation in this context. We will issue a revised Master Fixture Calendar once a date for the commencement of the 2021 inter-county season has been agreed.”
Louth will take part in Division Three of the National football league, with promotion their best ticket for avoiding The Tailteann Cup and staying in the race for the Sam Maguire while the hurlers look to build on their Lory Meagher Cup success by immediately earning promotion from Division 3B after their relegation last season.