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GAA to keep Croke Park at half capacity for All-Ireland final as vaccine cert requirement for full crowd ‘unrealistic’

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A crowd of 40,000 attended the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

A crowd of 40,000 attended the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

A crowd of 40,000 attended the All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

More than 40,000 football fans will be allowed to attend Croke Park to watch the All-Ireland final, it has been confirmed.

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) said it will go ahead with the plan for 50pc capacity.

In a statement, the sporting body said "unrealistic logistical challenges" around processing Covid certificates on a match day has led to its decision.

Tyrone and Mayo will battle for the Sam Maguire cup on Saturday week.

The Irish Government confirmed on Tuesday an easing of restrictions on organised events, allowing outdoor events to run at 75pc of capacity for vaccinated individuals.

Where there is mixed immunity in large crowds, capacity is restricted to 50pc.

The legal obligation to produce Covid-19 certificates is restricted to indoor dining and international travel in the Republic.

GAA officials have now ruled out running the event at 75pc capacity for fully vaccinated fans.

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One of the major difficulties facing the GAA is the lack of Covid passports in Northern Ireland, as they are restricted to international travel.

In a statement, the GAA said on Wednesday: "The GAA welcomes yesterday's government announcement regarding the easing of restrictions for sporting events.

"After careful consideration, we are confirming that a 50pc capacity threshold will apply for the GAA Football All-Ireland final at Croke Park on Saturday week, September 11.

"This means there will be an additional 1,150 tickets for distribution.

"With approximately half of our tickets already distributed and unrealistic logistical challenges around processing Covid passports on a match day for a crowd in excess of 41,150 coming from all over the country and abroad, it was decided to proceed on the basis of a 50pc attendance.

"The GAA acknowledges the work of the Department of Sport on this issue and looks forward to the benefit that Tuesday evening's announcement will have on club games in the weeks and months ahead."


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