Waterford concede Antrim game as employers say they must isolate when they return from the north
Waterford have conceded their final game of the National Football League citing concerns over travelling to Antrim.
The Deise were due to take on Antrim this weekend in Portglenone but players withdrew from the panel for two main reasons, according to the Waterford statement.
- The personal family circumstances of some of the players, leading to concerns and reservations within the playing group of travelling to the Belfast area.
- The employers of several players and members of the team management stipulating that a 14-day isolation period would be required on returning from Northern Ireland.
Waterford asked that the game be fixed "closer to Dublin" to cut out travel and time spent in the north where the Covid-19 incidence rate is extremely high in some places, but that request wasn't accommodated, although Antrim did offer a number of different venues within the county - and some closer to the south.
Portglenone is 45 minutes away from Belfast and NPHET have green lit senior inter-county GAA to carry on with the correct precautions but Waterford were not comfortable with the arrangement to travel to Ulster and, after having their game versus London cancelled, they won't play for a second successive weekend and won't have a competitive match before the championship.
In their statement, they confirmed the decision.
"Unfortunately, having weighed up all the options and having regard to the genuine concern of our players, we had no choice but to concede our final league match versus Antrim this weekend.
"At the end of the day, our players come first.
"We wish to acknowledge that several options were considered and proposed but for varying reasons, were not a runner."
Waterford GAA Statement pic.twitter.com/RvnW8cEt9p
— Waterford GAA (@WaterfordGAA) October 22, 2020
Family concerns are personal concerns and every player is entitled and right to feel how they feel about the situation and every county should accept that they're going to have to proceed without players for certain occasions during these strange times.
It is disappointing, however, if employers of some of the Waterford squad are considering Northern Ireland a "foreign country" where those returning from a game - okayed by public health - are asked to quarantine for 14 days. Besides, everyone in the country is being asked to work from home for the next six weeks anyway.