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Green light for challenge matches from next Monday as non-playing members cleared to attend games

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Teams are soon to be allowed hold challenge games. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Teams are soon to be allowed hold challenge games. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Teams are soon to be allowed hold challenge games. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Clearance for challenge games will be granted for inter-county teams from next Monday.

The Department of Sport's decision will come too late for some football counties who had games lined up this week in anticipation of an earlier green light.

But ahead of the commencement of the Allianz Football League on the following weekend, some games may still go ahead in mid-week next week.

It has also been confirmed that non-playing members of inter-county squads will be able to attend matches from this weekend.

Ahead of the start of the Allianz Hurling League this weekend, Minister for Sport Jack Chambers confirmed that additional squad members, outside the official 26, will have access to games despite their lack of direct involvement on the day.

Last year non-playing members did not have access to games until the All-Ireland finals, a source of frustration with Limerick manager John Kiely particularly vocal on it.

But Minister Chambers, in a tweet, has said that all members "make a significant contribution to the performance of their counties," and that it was "important this is recognised."

The news will be welcome to all inter-county managers who were again facing hard conversations about what players to leave at home on match days as the competitive season gets under way.

The GAA has officially capped squad personnel at 32 but many squads are carrying greater numbers - Kiely has confirmed that there are 38 on the current Limerick panel so it remains to be seen if a limit will be placed on numbers attending.

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