Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

14.29 15 Sep 2020


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The governing bodies for gaelic games, soccer and rugby have started work on developing a joint plan that will allow fans back into sporting events. 

Following the release today of the government’s 'Living with COVID-19' plan, the FAI, GAA and IRFU have set up a working group which aims to "bring a collaborative approach to the development of a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to stadia".

Representatives of Sport Ireland will also work with the group which will be chaired by Martin Murphy who is the stadium director of the Aviva Stadium.

In a statement released today, the governing bodies outline ways in which they plan to develop a common set of guidelines and protocols.

· Working with the Statutory Authorities essential to the safe delivery of major sporting events

· Engaging with Government agencies on the considerations and parameters applying to the number of people permitted at outdoor public gatherings

· Accessing international best practice and learnings from governing bodies which have been running spectator ‘return’ programmes over the past number of months

Once it is completed, the group will present its plan to the 'Sport Expert Group', set up by Sport Ireland.

The loosening of restrictions in the government's 'Living with Covid-19' plan allows for up to 200 people in outdoor stadia that have an accredited capacity of 5,000 while smaller grounds will be able to admit 100 people.

Indoor events will be limited to 50 but the plan also says that specific guidance can be developed for very large purpose built indoor and outdoor stadia.

In the joint statement the group chair, Martin Murphy, said; "Sport plays a hugely important role in Irish society and by working together the FAI, GAA, and the IRFU will bring their collective expertise and learning to develop a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to the sports events they love and miss deeply.

"The number one consideration for this group is to seek a series of protocols which would allow spectators back into sporting fixtures in a safe way, while complying fully with Government Health guidelines."


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