THE All Ireland football semi-final replay between Kerry and Mayo WILL go ahead in the Gaelic Grounds next Saturday, despite reservations from both counties.
The sides drew a thrilling encounter 1-16 each on Sunday and the replay has been fixed for Saturday at 5pm in Limerick because an American Football College game is taking place in Croke Park and the stadium is unavailable.
The decision to play the game in Limerick has drawn a lot of criticism with the Mayo County Board actually calling for a postponement until the following Saturday in Croke Park. However, the GAA say they need to keep that date free should the other semi-final between Dublin and Donegal finish level next Sunday or if Mayo and Kerry draw again.
That Dublin-Donegal game takes place next Sunday in Croke Park and is expected to be a full house, thus ruling the possibility of a double header.
The Gaelic Grounds should be packed to capacity on Saturday evening for the historic clash.
It will be the most high-profile game of Gaelic football ever hosted in Limerick and the first All Ireland semi-final to be played outside of Croke Park since Dublin and Cork met in Pairc ui Chaoimh in 1983.
Over 52,000 attended Sunday’s game in Croke Park and with the Gaelic Grounds able to take in the region of 46,000, according to Limerick GAA officials, it should see a bumper crowd flock to the Ennis Road venue.
Saturday games generally don’t attract as big an attendance as games on Sunday but playing in Limerick will be much more convenient to Kerry supporters in particular.
Last year’s Munster hurling final attracted over 42,000 while the 2010 International Rules game brought close to 50,000.
Saturday’s game will be live on RTE and Sky Sports and will go to extra time if the sides finish level after 70 minutes.