Sporting events across Galway in doubt

By Declan Harte

The GAA, An Cumann Camógaíochta, Ladies Gaelic Football Association and the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland (SFAI) have suspended all upcoming activities until March 29.

Following the announcement of nationwide closures from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this morning, sporting events across Galway are the latest to react.

In a statement released this afternoon, the GAA announced the suspension of all activity until March 29.

“In light of this morning’s Government announcement, the GAA, An Cumann Camógaíochta and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association have decided to suspend all activity at club, county and educational levels until March 29 (inclusive) from midnight,” read the statement.

“This is to include all games, training and team gatherings at all ages and all grades.”

“We will continue to liaise with Government officials and review the situation between now and the end of the month, assessing the impact of these measures on our competitions.”

It is expected that the Connacht FA will suspend all soccer activity later this evening. Meanwhile, the SFAI have officially suspended all activity.

“The SFAI is instructing all SFAI affiliated schoolboy leagues to suspend all football activities with immediate effect until further notice,” said SFAI administrator Simon Walsh.

“We understand the decision will bring with it disruption to leagues, clubs, coaches and players, but in these extraordinary times, there is a need to act now.

“Further communications will issue in due course, but for now, please follow the advice of the HSE and the Government when it comes to further protective measures.”

No official word has been made from Connacht Rugby regarding next week’s match against Scarlets, which is scheduled for March 20.

More updates to follow as they arrive…

UPDATE 1630:

The Connacht FA have now officially suspended all soccer activity until at least March 29, in line with the government’s announcement this morning.

A statement from the Connacht FA read:

“Further to confirmation today by the Government announcement that all schools across the country will close until March 29th 2020, and as the situation with Covid-19 is developing rapidly, the Connacht FA in consultation with its stakeholders and in the interest of Health & Safety of all our affiliates have taken the following decision.

“The Connacht Football Association is instructing all Youth and Junior affiliated Leagues to suspend all Football activities with immediate effect until at least March 29th 2020.

“We understand the decision will bring disruption to all our leagues, clubs, players and coaches, but we feel in these extraordinary times, we have to act now.

“Further communications will issue in due course, but for now, please follow the advice of the HSE and the Government when it comes to further protective measures.”

UPDATE 1632:

The PRO14 season has been officially suspended.

A statement on the PRO14 website read:

“The PRO14 is an international league. Cross border travel is inevitable and that brings with it unique challenges. With governments in Italy and Ireland already putting in place clear directives and restrictions around public activities and travel, the decision to suspend the competition is appropriate.

“It is in the best interests of everyone that games are not played at this time. The suspension has been directed by the board of Celtic Rugby DAC and will be remain under constant review.
“David Jordan, Tournament Director PRO14 Rugby, said: “We have made this decision with everyone’s welfare foremost in our minds. With an evolving situation in the five countries that take part in Guinness PRO14 it is important to make a clear decision that is in keeping with the advice of the various governments involved.”
“Resumption of the 2019/20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point PRO14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.
“This will remain the case for the duration of the suspension. This is an unprecedented action for the tournament and as such no end date to the suspension can be provided at this time.
“In keeping with our practice during the outbreak, PRO14 Rugby will provide updates on the suspension when more information is available.”

UPDATE 1727:

The FAI has announced the suspension of all football activity in Ireland until March 29. A statement on the FAI website read:

“The FAI made this decision after a meeting in Dublin today with Government, the Department of Health and stakeholders from other national sporting bodies.

The decision has been taken in light of the growing threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff. This decision will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

The FAI again met with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer’s Association of Ireland today, and continues to work with both bodies to help our clubs and players through this difficult time.”

This includes Galway United’s match on Friday evening against Cabinteely at Eamonn Deacy Park.

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