Irish Independent columnist Colm Keys spoke to Off The Ball about the surrounding issues ongoing in the GAA, stating that the organization has perhaps been jumping ahead of themselves.
Criticism has been risen over the past couple of weeks with regard to inter-county teams not returning to training until September 14th.
As well as sanctions being put in place for teams who do return to train early as well as clubs abiding by HSE rules in relation to COVID-19.
“I would say some not all, maybe between eight or ten counties were training as early as late June and early July. I think it was important for the GAA to put some, sanction in place because to leave it out there was a bit pointless.”
Keys noted that many clubs will be out of their respective championships by the end of August leaving a gap where no football will be played, believing that county teams should be allowed to return to play earlier provided it doesn’t affect clubs.
“If it does not impact on a club, I think it’s okay. If you have an inter-county manager telling club players that they can’t go and play a league match or play a challenge match or you cannot go and train, then it becomes an issue for that club.
Certainly, the GAA have really put themselves out for the clubs by putting the sanctions in place. Whether they can enforce it now to prevent it from later on in the Summer.
“I’m of the belief that the majority of inter-county players would prefer to train with their county squads because it’s at a higher level and a lot of inter-county players see themselves in the elite bracket. Club training is a step down.”
The issue of returning to club training was also debated in light of three clubs in West Cork and one club in North Dublin suspending all activities amid fears of Covid-19.
“The real challenge is how do you isolate teams? How do you isolate players?
“The more games that are going to take place, we are going to see more of this. Will it lead to teams being excluded from championship? I’d imagine that’s a possibility.
“I think there is more of a pessimism around this week about a return to play and maybe we have been jumping ahead of ourselves in terms of structures. It’s still very fraught and not very clear if both club and county will get to their conclusion."