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76% of inter-county players want to play — GPA survey

Just 24% of 1,695 inter-county players surveyed by the GPA do not want to proceed with the 2020 All-Ireland championships

GPA CEO Paul Flynn

Just 24% of 1,695 inter-county players surveyed by the GPA (Gaelic Players’ Association) do not want to proceed with the 2020 All-Ireland championships.

Just 24% of 1,695 inter-county players surveyed by the GPA (Gaelic Players’ Association) do not want to proceed with the 2020 All-Ireland championships.

A poll was taken this weekend as the GPA looked for a mandate, with 76% wanting to play the season so long as certain protocols are improved.

The GPA statement reads as follows:

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) met this afternoon to discuss the results of an online poll carried out amongst players from Tuesday, October 13 to Thursday, October 15.  The NEC unanimously agreed that the 2020 inter-county season should proceed subject to additional safeguards and supports for the welfare of its members.

These include:

  • Stronger testing protocols
  • Stricter compliance and oversight of Covid-19 protocols in all counties
  • The use of the safest venue for games (location and facilities)

The NEC has also called for the decision of any player to withdraw from their inter-county panel because of their personal circumstances to be respected.

There was a 76% response rate from members in the 48 hours with 1,695 players responding.

The key findings are:

  • 52% of inter-county hurlers and footballers want to proceed with the season
  • 24% want to play only if the implementation of the Covid-19 protocols is improved
  • 24% of respondents do not want to proceed with the 2020 season

With 76% of players wanting to play, of which 24% want a more robust implementation of protocols, the NEC have decided to proceed on the basis these protocols are improved.

The GPA’s NEC have also been mandated by players (86%) to make further decisions regarding the continuation of the season.

The GPA will continue to work with the GAA Covid-19 Advisory Committee, follow government guidelines and monitor developments as this fluid situation evolves.

GPA CEO Paul Flynn said; “We are deeply concerned about our member’s welfare given the ongoing developments nationwide.

“The clear message from our members is we need to strengthen the protocols to protect the welfare of the players, their families and their communities.

“We also need to respect the decision of players who opt out of the 2020 season.”

NEC Chairman Tom Parsons said; “The NEC has taken our members views on board when making our decision today.  This is not a full stop on the matter however. 

“The NEC will continue to monitor developments with a close eye on compliance with Covid-19 protocols.  We will not hesitate to take further action as we have been mandated to do if required.”

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