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'We will not countenance a situation where players are asked to put themselves or loved ones at undue risk' - GPA


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Like all sports, the GAA Championships are at a standstill

Like all sports, the GAA Championships are at a standstill

SPORTSFILE

GPA CEO and former Dublin star Paul Flynn. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

GPA CEO and former Dublin star Paul Flynn. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

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Like all sports, the GAA Championships are at a standstill

The GPA has told its members that it "will not countenance a situation arising where players are asked to put themselves or their families and loved ones at undue risk".

In a communique to members, the players' body stated it had contacted similar organisations from around the world who are looking at ways to return to action. And while the GPA are keen to look at all options, they moved to reassure players.

"There remains the genuine possibility that we will not see any return to action this year," CEO Paul Flynn wrote. "However, we hope that the situation will change in the coming months, but public health advice will be the guiding principle.

"I can assure you that we will not countenance a situation arising where players are asked to put themselves or their families and loved ones at undue risk. Your health and safety are non-negotiable."

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Flynn also stated that the GPA would push for greater clarity on what might be ahead.

"We accept that the GAA can't deliver certainty around fixtures at this time. It is a fluid and ever-changing situation.

"However, what we would like to see is some further clarity around the GAA's contingency plans for the inter-county and club season.

"The close contact nature of the playing and training environment which surrounds our games presents a heightened risk to the welfare of players, and a considerable challenge to return to action while adhering to social distancing and public health guidelines.

"It is important that the GAA engage external expert medical advice, to formulate an evidence-informed decision on a safe return to play."

Flynn also called for county team training to be effectively stood down.

"It is our view that this current period should be used as downtime, with a break from inter-county commitments. Feedback from squads indicates that a lot of management teams are taking this approach, and we welcome this move. We will continue to give updates as the situation develops."

Irish Independent