Anthony Molloy feels time should be called on all inter-county activity this year PICTURE: THOMAS GALLAGHER
A leading Donegal GAA figure has called for an end to all inter-county activity for 2020.
Donegal’s 1992 All-Ireland winning captain Anthony Molloy said the year’s break will help re-energise a side that has suffered significant injuries in recent years.
“A year’s break would do the likes of Michael Murphy, Paddy McGrath and those who are long term injured the world of good.
“I think we will be a fresh force to be reckoned with in 2021,” he declared.
But he is adamant that there should be no more inter-county football this year.
“I can’t see an inter-county championship being played this year,” he said, adding: “I can’t see any inter-county football and I don’t think it would be fair either at this stage because it is getting too late to prepare for an All-Ireland series.
“I think, and a lot of players are starting to agree with this, that it should be forgotten about until 2021 to be fair to everybody”.
He continued: “I know life must go on and we all miss football on a Sunday, but lives are still far more important than any sport.
“The reality is that we just don’t know enough yet about this virus and certainly not enough to take a risk on social distancing in matches.
“I know people need hope and I agree with that, but they need realistic hope and the best and safest way to give that hope is to put off all GAA activity until next year”.
When asked about the grave financial consequences of such an action, he said: “Yes, clubs and counties will take a hit, but the vast majority of people who are involved in the GAA are doing it on a voluntary basis, for the pride of their native place and the parish and you can’t put a price on that.
“And that is why the GAA will always come back strongly at club and county level as professional sports do not have all that voluntary back up”.
And when asked about a resumption of club activity he said: “From a health point of view, I see even more difficulties here and I know this will not be popular to say as we would all love for club activity to resume as soon as possible.
“But I can see problems with a team from the south west travelling up to Malin with two teams and that would be up to 80 players.
“How can they guarantee the absolute safety of those players and that is before we talk of the huge problem of social distancing.
“It is just too big a chance to take and although having no games this year will seem like a long time, that will pass as will the virus.
“And that is why I think we should forget about all GAA activity for this year and give absolute clarity instead of the endless differing and understandable speculation we have at present.
“At least that certainty would give clubs and counties time to plan properly in the absence of a vaccine. And I believe a lot of club players would not want to play either. We need to stand back and prepare for next year,” he said.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email email@example.com To contact Donegal Post, email firstname.lastname@example.org To contact Inish Times, email email@example.com.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.