Club Players Association call on GAA to allow them to finish club championships

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Kenneth Fox
The Club Players Association (CPA) are appealing for GAA management to allow clubs to finish off the club championships.

It comes as on Monday the GAA announced it was to suspend all club games with immediate effect until further notice

CPA chairman Micheál Briody said "We have been contacted by a lot of clubs over the last 24/48 hours, distressed and disappointed that their season has been brought to an abrupt and unsatisfactory end.

"They all understand the need to tighten restrictions, but are appealing to have the chance to finish out their campaign.”

In making this appeal, the CPA said it fully acknowledges that GAA management is taking responsibility and showing leadership once again to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

“Club players and supporters across all counties greatly appreciated the 11 weeks ring-fenced for Clubs. With uninterrupted access to players, the interest and excitement generated at Club Level was a tremendous showcase for our games and surpassed all expectations.

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"We all understand the euphoria of championship success, but some of the behaviour has rightly attracted scrutiny in light of the pandemic we are all living through. We do not condone this at all," he said.

In making this request to the GAA they wanted to highlight the following points:

The number of club players who are only a few days away from completing their season is minimal. It is extremely unfair that they should be left hanging for the next number of months not knowing when their finals will be played. According to guidelines they can and most likely will continue to train until their games are played, which may contribute to further transmission and risk. The extra costs of training over the coming months will put further financial pressure on these clubs who have been unable to raise funds in 2020 like other years. Finishing the competitions will allow all clubs to have full closure on this season, and give players and mentors an uninterrupted break with their families at this difficult time.

Mr Briody said the response and engagement with club games has been a real positive for the GAA in 2020. It is important that it is recognised for players and their communities who are at final stages of their championships

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The CPA also said cancelling club games is unfair on players who through no fault of their own are being denied the chance to finish what has been a unique and challenging season.

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