Friday 9 December 2016

Mayo bow to pressure and cancel club games

County board postpone championship ties after Cafferkey's call to assist All-Ireland preparations

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

Injured defender Ger Cafferkey made an impassioned plea to cancel the matches on social media yesterday and that followed on from David Brady’s description of the fixing of games this weekend as “kamikaze” Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
Injured defender Ger Cafferkey made an impassioned plea to cancel the matches on social media yesterday and that followed on from David Brady’s description of the fixing of games this weekend as “kamikaze” Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

Mayo county board chiefs have bowed to pressure and postponed all senior championship club games that had been fixed for this weekend.

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All 33 members of Stephen Rochford's squad were due to see action this weekend, three weeks out from an All-Ireland final date with Kerry or Dublin.

Calls for the games to be moved were led by injured county player Ger Cafferkey yesterday who claimed that playing the games would impinge on the county's All-Ireland final prospects.

And late last night Mayo confirmed that all senior matches, as well as three intermediate games involving county players, have been called off. A county board statement stressed the decision was made only after careful consideration of all the "various issues involved."

"This has not been an easy decision for all concerned as we were faced with a Catch 22 situation. Everyone involved in Mayo GAA wishes to support the senior football team as effectively as we can in the run-up to September 18 - and, equally, everyone is fully aware of the impact a postponement at such late notice will have on club players and managements.

"However, after carefully considering the various issues involved, and acknowledging that there was no simple solution, we feel that the best interests of Mayo football will be served on this occasion by postponing the above games so that the team can prepare for the All-Ireland final.

"The primary reason for doing so is to allow the team the four weeks of preparation between now and the final so that they can represent all of us in optimum condition on September 18. We hope all Mayo GAA people will understand the well-founded motivation for our decision and rally around the team for the next few weeks."

The matches that were fixed this weekend will take place the week after the All-Ireland final on September 24/25. That will see four rounds of championship games run over five weeks in order for Mayo to produce a county champion to play in the Connacht championship on October 30.

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