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John O'Mahony: National League games could be played behind closed doors


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All-Ireland-winning manager John O'Mahony thinks that the GAA could be forced to play National League matches behind closed doors due to the coronavirus. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

All-Ireland-winning manager John O'Mahony thinks that the GAA could be forced to play National League matches behind closed doors due to the coronavirus. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

All-Ireland-winning manager John O'Mahony thinks that the GAA could be forced to play National League matches behind closed doors due to the coronavirus. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

All-Ireland-winning manager John O'Mahony believes the GAA might yet be forced to finish their National League competitions behind closed doors as authorities look to get to grips with the coronavirus threat.

Sporting events across Europe have been hit by the crisis with Serie A and the Six Nations suspended while other competitions across the globe continue in the absence of fans. And there's growing concern that GAA matches could soon be forced to follow suit.

The penultimate round of league action in football is down for decision this weekend, along with the hurling league quarter-finals, but remain unaffected for now.

However, O'Mahony, who is a member of the Seanad, believes the public could yet be barred from the final rounds of matches before the situation is assessed ahead of the championship.

"I think what the GAA are hoping, I presume, is that they'd get the league out of the way," O'Mahony said, speaking at the McKeever Sports launch event in Croke Park.

"I can't see this weekend's games being affected but then we don't know. I'd say the worst-case scenario is that you could envisage games being played behind closed doors to get the competition finished…

"At club level, it's a lower level, it's not a mass gathering as such so you'd imagine that the month of April is designated for club activity or however much club activity can go on, so I'd say the next two weeks are crucial and the GAA will be hoping and praying that they can get their competitions run off."

Irish Independent