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Last hope for GAA games this year is all but extinguished - and questions remain over 2021 too

Colm Keys


GAA president's social distancing condition and CPA poll paint the bleakest picture yet

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GAA President John Horan has made it clear that locks will stay on the gates of all club and county grounds while social distancing rules are in place. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

GAA President John Horan has made it clear that locks will stay on the gates of all club and county grounds while social distancing rules are in place. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

GAA President John Horan has made it clear that locks will stay on the gates of all club and county grounds while social distancing rules are in place. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Coming quickly after GAA president John Horan, in the course of his 'Sunday Game' interview, brought clarity to what was obvious anyway - that there could be no consideration of a return to play in contact sports like Gaelic football and hurling (and by extension ladies football and camogie) as long as social distancing on the street and in the workplace was still being implemented - the Club Players' Association provided even more detail yesterday with the specifics of their survey on its members' attitudes.

By any stretch, a poll of over 3,000 (3,008 to be exact) is a very decent take on what any group of people is thinking. And with more than one out of every five respondents declaring that they wouldn't return to training until a vaccine for Covid-19 is in place, and another one out of five in the 'don't know' category on the same subject, it makes any return to play, even partial, improbable in the short term or even the long term for that matter given the length of time it is going to take produce a vaccine, if it gets there at all, in a safe manner.

Fifty-seven per cent of respondents are prepared to return to action in 2020 but, even with the provision of temperature checks, only a further seven per cent, 64 per cent, would be prepared to return to training which underlines the level of caution out there.