Leo Varadkar Offers Glimmer Of Hope Of All-Ireland Taking Place This Year

Leo Varadkar has said the All-Ireland hurling and football championships may go ahead this year, however, it would be run off behind closed doors.

Varadker announced on Friday that the current lockdown would be extended to May 18th and from there the country would move to a five-phase release plan which could result in normality by August 10th depending on targets.

Sport is addressed in each phase of the government’s plan with Phase 2 outlining first that ‘small group team sports training (but not matches) where social distancing can be maintained and where there is no contact’ will be allowed from June 8th.

Phase 3 on June 29th will see “behind closed doors” sporting activities and events permitted where arrangements are in place to enable participants to maintain social distancing.’

However, it is not until Phase 4, on July 20th, where team sports, like GAA and soccer, with limited spectators and social distancing can resume.

The Taoiseach appeared on the Late Late Show to discuss the government’s multi-part plan to reopen the country over the coming months.

“There’s a possibility of an All-Ireland this year,” he told Ryan Tubridy.

“Obviously that’s a matter for the GAA,” he continued. “Not with spectators but it could be done. I think it’s possible. You’d be talking August and September. It’d be a later calendar than we’re used to.”

Croke Park chiefs have not yet commented on the government’s plans while the FAI said they will “move to evaluate the implications and update stakeholders from all strands of football as soon as feasible.”

Meanwhile, the IRFU have said they “welcome the plan set out by the government and will review its implications for our players, clubs and employee group.”

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