Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.01 21 Oct 2020


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Several Waterford senior footballers are reportedly unwilling to play in Saturday's Allianz National Football League Division 4 clash with Antrim. 

According to WLR, they've cited concerns related to COVID-19.

The match is slated for Portglenone in Ballymena, a 478-mile round-trip from Waterford City.

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A number of players and management have been informed by their their employers that they will not be able to attend work on Monday if they travel to Antrim.

Even when the Level-5 restrictions are introduced at midnight Wednesday, it will still be possible to travel to and from the Six Counties without the need to self-isolate.

Regardless of this, the Waterford County Board had made a request to switch the Antrim game to a neutral venue. That request was denied.

Waterford are also said to be uncomfortable with the travel arrangement which requires them to take three different coaches while wearing masks for the five-hour duration of the trip.

Of further concern, a number of the Antrim hurling panel have required testing for COVID-19 after a player presented symptoms on Monday.

The hurlers are due to play Westmeath in round 1 of the Joe McDonagh Cup on Sunday, but a small number of the hurling panel are dual players.

The game is a dead rubber as far as Waterford are concerned, with only feint promotion hopes available to Antrim.

They need Sligo to beat Limerick at Markievicz Park to maintain any hope of going up to Division Three.

There is already a precedent for a League game being conceded due to coronavirus concerns. Longford gave Cork a walkover in their scheduled Division Three match, something that was rubber-stamped by the GAA.


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