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More uncertainty hits inter-county season as GAA delay championship draw

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Inter-county will return first in the 2021 GAA calendar

Inter-county will return first in the 2021 GAA calendar

Inter-county will return first in the 2021 GAA calendar

More uncertainty has engulfed the inter-county GAA season with the news that the provincial championship draws, which were due to take place next week, are set to be pushed back by at least a month.

The provincial hurling and football draws were set to take place over a consecutive days from next Monday but with no start to the season in sight, GAA top brass have opted against the move as the Covid pandemic wreaks havoc with plans once more.

Before Christmas, the GAA announced its intention to have county teams return to training in mid-January with a view to starting the leagues in late February.

However, the public health scenario forced a rethink with no date for a return to training confirmed and action not set to start at the end of March at the earliest.

When action does resume, the hurling league is set to continue along the lines of last season but, in response to the pandemic, the football leagues are set to be regionalised to help cut down in travel.

The 2021 championship is set to see a backdoor return to the football championship, replacing last year’s straight knock out system. The GAA also intend to stage the inaugural Tailteann cup competition for division three and four teams that do not reach their provincial finals.

There will be 11 teams in Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2021 with a preliminary round in the qualifiers between the two defeated quarter-final teams from Munster and Leinster. The winners of that game will progress to qualifiers round one with the losers relegated to the McDonagh Cup for 2022.

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