Leitrim decision to go behind closed doors raises plenty of eyebrows 1 year ago

Leitrim decision to go behind closed doors raises plenty of eyebrows

To rub salt in the wounds, Leitrim GAA have banned clubs from streaming championship games themselves.

In a controversial move, Leitrim GAA have made the decision to play the remainder of their knockout championship games - senior, intermediate and junior - behind closed doors.

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According to a statement released early this morning, the chase and the pursuit of the 200 golden tickets for games would cause undue tension and pressure for the various clubs involved and so instead of granting access to some, they are granting access to none at all.

"It is viewed as being the fairest solution to all concerned to allow access to no supporters as distinct to having to cater for an impractical situation that would arise at the local level with regard to the distribution of these few precious tickets, and the probability of inevitable confrontation that could follow at turnstiles at venues in consideration of people who have not gained a ticket," read their statement.

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"Leitrim GAA Management Committee at its meeting last night decided that the knockout stages of the Connacht Gold senior and intermediate, and in all probability at least the semi-finals and final of the Vistamed Junior A Football Championship will be played behind closed doors, while the government imposed crowd limits remain at a maximum of 200 people per outdoor venue."

"It is widely recognised that when arriving at the concluding stages of any competition, interest levels rise accordingly..."

To the county board's credit, they have committed to streaming these knock-out games themselves but some clubs are understood to be upset at having their own streaming rights taken away from them.

At eye-level, this behind closed doors call has all the hallmarks of a knee-jerk reaction from the Leitrim county board. While the 200 crowd limit has been a nuisance in counties all over, by all accounts the majority of people who wanted to attend GAA games in the last few weeks, have indeed been catered for. Clare is an exception to this statement, with all their games having been behind closed doors since day one.

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In most instances, each player has been given a ticket for one family member or close friend which has softened the blow for many.

‘It is viewed as being the fairest solution to all concerned to allow access to no supporters’ - one wonders if this is the case.

"What is club football without supporters," tweeted county player Shane Quinn, "especially in a county with very few cases."

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Surely access for some is better than access for none at all?