Venue issues not a worry for 'Super 8s'
Counties will be entitled to host All-Ireland quarter-finals at their home venues without any of the health and safety and capacity issues that kept last weekend's Kildare/Mayo qualifier game out of Newbridge for two days before the GAA relented and cleared the game for St Conleth's Park.
GAA President John Horan has confirmed that once local gardaí are happy the crowd can be accommodated in the relevant town the game can go ahead, irrespective of ticket demand.
Horan had also made this point at a Central Council meeting on Saturday, prior to yesterday's fourth-round qualifier draw being made.
Kildare have drawn Fermanagh, putting them on the opposite side of Dublin if they progress from Navan, where their match with the Erne men has been fixed for Saturday night (7.0).
Had Kildare drawn Cork that would have given them a home match with Dublin in a second-round All-Ireland quarter-final on July 21/22. But judging by what was said at Central Council, that game would have gone ahead in St Conleth's Park unless, in the unlikely event, Kildare had chosen to move it elsewhere.
If Kildare beat Fermanagh, their home quarter-final will be against Galway, a game that shouldn't put as much pressure on the 8,200 capacity as last Saturday night did.
None of the remaining counties involved in the race for 'Super 8s' have venue issues. All-Ireland champions Dublin will be in Croke Park to play Donegal on the first weekend and will then be away to Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh or Tyrone in Omagh on the second weekend.
The issue of Dublin playing two quarter-final games in Croke Park has prompted Donegal manager Declan Bonner to suggest that their game with Dublin should be fixed for Clones as each county, he said on 'Off The Ball' last week, should play one game at a neutral venue. But the rule actually specifies Croke Park.
With a 'home' venue Dublin will be entitled to nominate where they want to play and that's almost certain to be Croke Park.
Kerry are also on the road on the second weekend after their Croke Park meeting with Galway, away to Monaghan or Laois.
Tyrone and Armagh will be in the same group as Dublin and Donegal, should they beat Cork and Roscommon respectively.
O'Moore Park in Portlaoise will host those qualifier games on Saturday, Roscommon/Armagh (3.0) and Cork/Tyrone (5.0). Navan's Páirc Tailteann will host the other two qualifiers, with Laois and Monaghan meeting there on Sunday (2.0).
If the weekend qualifier games finish level they will be subject to two 10-minute periods of extra-time. If they are still level after that a further two five-minute period will be played.
Failure to break the deadlock at that stage would trigger a free-kick competition - five shots each from edge of the 'D' with sudden death after that if required.
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