| 15.5°C Dublin

Close

Premium


Straight knockout or back door? Either way, longest season awaits

Colm Keys


Close

David Clifford adjusts his torn Kerry jersey after a tussle in the first league game of the season on January 25 this year. Any All-Ireland final date is likely to be more than a year after that first inter-county clash of 2020. Photo: Sportsfile

David Clifford adjusts his torn Kerry jersey after a tussle in the first league game of the season on January 25 this year. Any All-Ireland final date is likely to be more than a year after that first inter-county clash of 2020. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

David Clifford adjusts his torn Kerry jersey after a tussle in the first league game of the season on January 25 this year. Any All-Ireland final date is likely to be more than a year after that first inter-county clash of 2020. Photo: Sportsfile

When the GAA briefed counties towards the end of April on fixtures planning, a segment relating to potential inter-county contingency plans made it clear as to how it would look.

It flagged that it was 'no secret' that the structure would be a provincial championship knockout with no back door, taking eight weeks to run on a 'week-on-week' basis and integrating football and hurling, presumably with semi-finals and finals on alternate weekends.

Within a week or two of that briefing, any optimism around a potential restart for games appeared to deplete with concerns raised from virologists and health experts about contact in the context of existing social distancing protocols.