O'Byrne Cup reduced to farce as Offaly withdraw from competition
"We cannot field a team this weekend without putting some of our players at risk of injury."
They were due to play Louth, but due to several reasons such as injuries and players missing because of Sigerson, they tried to postpone the tie.
Louth however were not willing to do so and thus, the county have made the decision to withdraw entirely from the competition.
Manager Liam Kearns warned that he "wouldn't mind dropping out of the competition" and that the integrity of the tournament had been damaged by Louth offering a walkover to Wexford.
Longford and Louth will now play in the final of the tournament.
In a statement released by Offaly, they explain how they were willing to change the fixture but couldn't.
"Offaly GAA have reluctantly informed Leinster GAA this morning that we are unable to fulfil our proposed O'Byrne Cup semi-final fixture v Louth on Sunday," the county said in a statement, released early this afternoon.
"Offaly county board requested a deferral of the game to Friday 20 January or Saturday 21 January, which would have required a new date for the final. Leinster GAA were willing to explore the idea, however, Louth GAA could not facilitate our request.
"Offaly GAA have a large number of players playing Sigerson Cup next week, and we also have a number of injured and sick players.
— Official Offaly GAA (@Offaly_GAA) January 13, 2023
Following consultation with team management, players, and county board, we agreed that we could not field a team without asking a large number of players to play their third game in eight days in current conditions. Medical and player welfare advice was very much against that happening.
"Offaly GAA, our team management and players remain fully committed to all competitions we enter and have really enjoyed the O'Byrne Cup challenge over the past week. However, we cannot field a team this weekend without putting some of our players at risk of injury."
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