Two more weeks should provide clarity for sport bodies

Donn O'Sullivan


Donn O'Sullivan


Two more weeks should provide clarity for sport bodies

ON FRIDAY night, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, is expected to extend the current Covid-19 restrictions, with another two weeks of ‘quarantine’ to be implemented.

The two week extension is expected to allow time to provide clarity to Ireland's sporting governing bodies, who are currently operating in a surreal state of flux.

Speaking last week, Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic means it could be some time before it is possible for contact sports to be played again in the country.

“All of us would love to be back in action as soon as we possibly can,” Treacy said at the launch of the government's new In This Together campaign, promoting mental and physical well-being during lockdown.

“Sport is planning for that day. Some sports are non-contact, done outdoors, with a lot of physical distancing, and they will obviously be a priority.

“I think it will be a lot trickier for some of the contact sports, and we'll just have to monitor that very carefully.

“But it's up to Government to give the green light. We provide the information and the decisions will be made.” Treacy added.

It is believed that the return to sport action will come in the reverse order by which it was shutdown.

Sources close to a local golf club are confident they will be open by the end of May, while Horse Racing Ireland are also expecting to have races behind closed doors by the end of the month.

The FAI have this week circulated a working document amongst League of Ireland clubs outlining the possibility of running the season behind closed doors also.

Locally, the Limerick District and Desmond League are rumoured to be 'finished' for the season, with plans being put in place to run these leagues, as normal again next season.

On the GAA front, talks at HQ are that an inter county season will go ahead, even if behind closed doors, with club championships, knock out if necessary, being made a priority.

On the rugby front, teams in Limerick are planning to be without rugby for some time.

Clubs in the city are rumoured to be planning and budgeting for a truncated season to start in 2021, while on the professional level, Munster Rugby are seeking clarity from the IRFU on their potential return to train/play dates. It seems Friday night, a one time traditional night for sport, is once again big news.