Later throw in time for Dubs as GAA adapt watching brief over coronavirus

CHANGE: Dublin manager Dessie Farrell. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Conor McKeon

Dublin's Division 1 clash with Meath has been moved back from a scheduled 2.0 throw-in this Sunday in Croke Park to 3.15, the GAA has confirmed.

The change is to facilitate the Division 2A hurling final between Kerry and Antrim in GAA HQ at 1.0.

The meeting of last year's Leinster finalists will be first time they've played in the league since 2008, when Dublin clinched promotion to Division 1 with a one-point win in Parnell Park in which five players were sent off by Paddy Russell following a 29-man brawl.

Sixteen players - eight from each team- were hit with suspensions ranging from four to eight weeks.

The GAA's disciplinary arm also handed out €20,000 fines to each of the county boards, although Meath got theirs reduced to €10,000 on appeal.

Ciarán Whelan, Bernard Brogan, Paddy Andrews, Paul Flynn, Diarmuid Connolly, Ross McConnell, Tomás Quinn and Eamonn Fennell all missed Dublin's subsequent Division 2 final against Westmeath in Navan, which Dublin lost by 0-15 to 0-10.

That game was the last time Dublin were beaten by Leinster opposition in the league.

Meath have already been relegated from Division 1 following five successive defeats in what was their first appearance in the top flight of the league since 2006.


Dublin could still make the league final, although the likelihood is they would require victories on Sunday and against table-toppers Galway in Salthill on Sunday week to finish in the top two.

Croke Park have also confirmed the times for next Tuesday's (St. Patrick's Day) Eirgrid All-Ireland U-20 football semi-finals.

Galway and Kerry throw-in at 2.0 while Dublin's clash with Tyrone is fixed for 3.45.

Both games will be screened live by TG4.

At present, the GAA have no plans to cancel or postpone any of their scheduled matches as the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 continues to claim major global sporting events.

A spokesperson for Croke Park insisted however, that they are taking a watching brief on other public events, both in Ireland and abroad, and maintaining close dialogue with the HSE.

Any decision to cancel or postpone fixtures will be done solely on HSE advice, they stressed.

There are 21 league fixtures scheduled across Saturday and Sunday in football and hurling as well as the two All-Ireland Under 20 football semi-finals fixed for Croke Park on St. Patrick's Day.

GAA chief executive Tom Ryan led a Croke Park delegation to government buildings last Friday to consult with staff at the Health Department over an appropriate course of action.

On foot of these meetings, a HSE document was circulated to each county board and club on Saturday morning advising the provision of extra supplies of hand sanitiser and encouraging all members to wash their hands thoroughly before attending matches.

Some clubs and counties advised against players shaking hands before or after matches although this was not part of the official document.

In a statement published this morning, Mayo GAA insisted their advice was "updated based on the latest information from the Health Service Executive and Department of Health.

"A sub-group of Mayo GAA Executive are in contact regularly to assess our community's needs and to provide up-to-date information and advice to ensure minimal impact to all our GAA communities."

Already, Ireland's Six Nations clashes with Italy and France have been postponed.


On Sunday, France banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus as the death toll from the outbreak increased to 19 with 1,126 cases confirmed nationwide.

Yesterday morning, Paris police force announced that The Champions League game between PSG and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be played behind closed doors at Parc des Princes.

It is the second game of the competition that will be played without fans as last week Valencia announced that their second leg against Atalanta would also be played behind closed doors.

In Italy several Serie A games have been played with no spectators present, including the top-of-the-table game between Juventus and Inter at Turin's Allianz Stadium on Sunday night.