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GAA, FAI and IRFU announce working group for return of spectators to stadia

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The country's three major sporting organisations, the GAA, FAI and IRFU have announced that they have set up a working group to develop a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to stadia.

Following today's announcement from the Government that crowds of up to 200 will be allowed to attend outdoor sporting events in stadia with a capacity of up to 5,000, and up to 100 spectators will be allowed at outdoor sporting events and 50 at indoor events, the three associations will work together to make a unified plan to populate stadia here.

The statement reads: "Following the release today of the Government’s Resilience and Recovery 2020-21: Plan for Living with COVID-19, the FAI, GAA and IRFU have set up a working group to bring a collaborative approach to the development of a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to stadia.

"The group, which will include representatives of Sport Ireland and will be chaired by Martin Murphy, Stadium Director of Aviva Stadium, will develop a common set of guidelines and protocols, by:

· Working with the Statutory Authorities essential to the safe delivery of major sporting events

· Engaging with Government agencies on the considerations and parameters applying to the number of people permitted at outdoor public gatherings

· Accessing international best practice and learnings from governing bodies which have been running spectator ‘return’ programmes over the past number of months

"The group will present its plan to the Sport Expert Group, set up by Sport Ireland.

Group Chair, Martin Murphy, said: "Sport plays a hugely important role in Irish society and by working together the FAI, GAA, and the IRFU will bring their collective expertise and learning to develop a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to the sports events they love and miss deeply.

"The number one consideration for this group is to seek a series of protocols which would allow spectators back into sporting fixtures in a safe way, while complying fully with Government Health guidelines.

"Spectators are more than fans, they are an intrinsic part of any sporting occasion; they are the family and friends of the men and women who are representing their town, their county, their province or their country. They are part of the sporting culture of our nation which is so critically important to our overall wellbeing."

Online Editors