Tyrone urged to put 'health and wellbeing' first as doubts remain over semi-final clash

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Tyrone Urged To Put 'Health And Wellbeing' First As Doubts Remain Over Semi-Final Clash Tyrone Urged To Put 'Health And Wellbeing' First As Doubts Remain Over Semi-Final Clash
Tyrone celebrate after the Ulster Football final in Croke Park. Photo: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
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Tyrone's footballers are being urged to put their health and wellbeing first after their All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry was postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 among the northern panel.

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) released a statement on Wednesday in which they said players will feel "a deep sense of responsibility to play the game", however the association added: "It is imperative that their health and wellbeing is the priority in this situation".

The game was due to take place in Croke Park on Sunday, August 15th, but was pushed back to Saturday, August 21st as a result of the positive cases.

A number of players are currently isolating on account of the outbreak, making them unable to train for the Kerry fixture.

The GPA said they are in ongoing contact with the squad through their GPA representative since the cases arose. "We are also in contact with the Tyrone Senior Football Management and share their player welfare concerns," the statement added.

Earlier this week, Tyrone GAA said they appreciated the six-day delay granted by the GAA, however, asked that the game would be pushed back another week to allow adequate time for the players to resume training before the semi-final.

"It’s clear that our players will not be ready to engage in a high intensity championship game so soon after being directly affected by this virus," Tyrone GAA chairman Michael Kerr said on Tuesday.

The welfare of the players is paramount.

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"The welfare of the players is paramount. The management will not be making a decision until this weekend on whether we will be capable of fulfilling the fixture," he added.

The GPA have offered the Tyrone team support through their "comprehensive health screening" and will "consult closely with the GAA to ensure adequate time is allowed to assess the welfare of players before a decision can be made by Tyrone".

"Above all we ask for respect to be shown to the amateur status of the players and that we are all mindful of the four teams who remain in the competition.

"Players will always want to play, but their welfare must come first in any decision made," the statement, signed by GPA CEO, Tom Parsons, read.

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