Sunday 26 January 2020

Liam O'Neill: Fear of 'backlog' dictated Limerick decision

GAA President Liam Ó Néill
GAA President Liam Ó Néill
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Fears over further replays being required pressed the GAA into sending Mayo and Kerry on the road to Limerick this weekend, president Liam O'Neill explained yesterday.

O'Neill said the decision not to wait a further seven days to stage the replay in Croke Park, as advised by Mayo manager James Horan, was made out of concern over the potential backlog that a further replay would create.

He said the All-Ireland hurling final date had not influenced the decision.

The president's comments came as criticism continued to flow in with former Mayo manager John O'Mahony describing it as one of the worst recent decisions taken by the association.

The GAA remained adamant that the Gaelic Grounds was a fitting venue for a semi-final replay and that close to a 48,000 capacity would comfortably accommodate the expected crowd.

"It was fact that the (potential) run on of games would have meant that we could have had games only a week in advance of the All-Ireland football final," said O'Neill.

"That would also mean that people would have had to make plans for the final only a week in advance. You could not expect players to play games of that importance three weeks in a row."

Meanwhile, Mayo had not decided last night if Lee Keegan will challenge his red card for attempting to kick with minimal force. He currently stands suspended for the replay.

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