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Real risk players will conceal illness - Bohan

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Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan. Photo: Sportsfile

Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan. Photo: Sportsfile

Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan. Photo: Sportsfile

There is a strong possibility that GAA players will conceal illness over the coming months for fear of letting their side down and risking their place in the championship, according to Dublin ladies football manager Mick Bohan.

GAA president John Horan recently stated that counties will be asked to "step aside" and forfeit their championship spot in light of a positive Covid-19 case and Bohan expects this situation to get messy as time moves on with unnecessary pressure being placed on players.

"Imagine you're an inter-county footballer and you're playing an All-Ireland semi-final tomorrow and you start feeling unwell, are you going to shout that out and actually tell everybody?" the Dublin boss told the Irish Independent.

"I know that's what you're supposed to do, I know that that's the right thing to do. Look at the number of people that you are now affecting and, innately, there's an incredible pressure on you now.

"Everything in your inner self is saying, 'F*** it, I don't have the Covid, it might be something else but I don't have the Covid. There's no way that I can have this at this stage with the amount of things that are at stake for everyone tomorrow'."

Bohan believes that putting inter-county players, in particular, in such difficult positions is unfair given the bigger picture at play amid a global health crisis and he feels that the risks easily outweigh the benefits when it comes to running winter championships.

"If you look at lads or girls over the years that got sick the week of a game, you do everything you can and take everything you can, obviously within reason, to play the game," Bohan outlined. "Now here we have something that none of us have ever dealt with before and it's in your psyche to some degree that you feel like you're letting other people down, which obviously you aren't but that's the way we're programmed.

"Say there's a player who is just not willing to risk somebody in their household, yet at the same time they feel a serious obligation to their teammates or otherwise, no one has ever been put in that position before.

"And we are certainly going to put somebody in that position now. I just wonder why are we doing this when there are too many variables and too many things at stake, too many risks for what?"

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