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James Horan calls out ‘killer’ county panel protocols

Mayo manager James Horan has added his voice to the outcry over full county panels being unable to attend championship matches.

Under current Level 5 coronavirus restrictions only 26 panel members are allowed to be in the stadium for games.

Limerick hurling manager John Kiely was the first to complain about the restrictions after their Munster Championship final win.

The Treaty boss felt that beating Waterford that day was “tinged” as 10 of his panel members had to watch the game from home.

Waterford hurling legend John Mullane also disagreed with the ruling, questioning what difference it would make to have 10 extra players at the stadium when they had already been training with the match-day squad.

Horan is the first high-profile manager in Gaelic football to speak out, calling for full panels to be allowed at the upcoming All-Ireland semi-finals.

“I think the players, to a certain extent are being taken for granted, I really do, in a lot of things. We’ve guys that have given a decade and, for some of them, more.

“It may be their second [last] or last time going to Croker or whatever so to have trained all year, giving everything and for them not to be allowed into a venue, it’s outrageous really. It genuinely is,” Horan said.

Potential easing of restrictions

With the country due to exit Level 5 restrictions next week, there is a chance that full panels will be allowed to attend the All-Ireland football semi-finals.

“We’ll be out of Level 5 but even with Level 5, to be honest there’s a lot of guys with yellow bibs that are hanging around a lot of stadiums.

“There’s obviously protocols that need to be place for sure but you can’t tell me that we can’t have 10 players, that have given a huge amount, [there is] social distancing in all those stadiums as well. I don’t get it so I think it’s key for an All-Ireland semi-final that full panels [can attend].

“It’s a killer for some guys. It’s an absolute killer to be honest,” Horan commented.

Mayo take on Tipperary on Sunday the 6th of December in the second All-Ireland football semi-final, and will face either Cavan or Dublin in the decider should they progress.

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