GPA strike threat hung over today's games

The GAA have announced four of the seven Allianz League games rescheduled for today have been postponed due to unplayable pitches, not because of the strike that was threatened by the Gaelic Players Association last night.

The Louth-Meath, Waterford-Leitrim and Wicklow-Limerick football games, as well as the Division 2A hurling final between Westmeath and Carlow, will be rescheduled following a meeting of the Central Competition Controls Committee tomorrow.

The Limerick-Clare and Offaly-Kilkenny Division 1 quarter-finals and the Division 4 football clash between Offaly and Sligo will go ahead this afternoon following pitch inspections this morning.

However, there had been the threat of a GPA-supported withdrawal of services in some games due to the lack of consultation in rearranging the fixtures for today.

A statement on Sunday read: "Following the GAA's decision to re-schedule a number of the National League games by 24 hours to tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday, the GPA have been contacted by a number of affected squads extremely unhappy with the arrangements.

"Notwithstanding the recent inclement weather conditions creating considerable challenges for the CCCC with regard to rescheduling of games, the GPA consider it wholly unacceptable that no consultation was made with players beforehand.

It would appear that little or no consideration was given to players who have contractual obligations to their employers to fulfil. Furthermore, many of our players have personal or family arrangements for tomorrow which must now be changed at short notice.

"The GPA will be supporting a number of squads who have outlined their commitment not to fulfil their fixtures tomorrow due to players unavailability. We have this evening contacted the GAA outlining our support for these squads and requesting that the CCCC find an alternative arrangement for these games.

"In 2017, over 70% of inter county football squads voted against the revised fixture schedule which was subsequently passed at GAA Congress. This condensed calendar season has little or no contingency for adverse weather conditions or suitable periods for rest and recovery of our amateur players. In the interests of welfare of our members, the GPA feels this is something that the GAA needs to review."

By John Fogarty
GAA Correspondent

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