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Uncertainty for fans ahead of Clare clash

Sport

Michael Gallagher

THERE are still almost two weeks to go until Mayo face Clare in the Division 2 league semi-final at Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday week next, but the early signs are that there will be very few supporters — if any — allowed to attend the game.
The Mayo News has learned that ‘the best case scenario’ would be that 200 spectators would be allowed to attend the match — meaning that 100 tickets would most likely be divided between the Clare and Mayo GAA Boards for distribution.
It’s believed that talks will be ongoing this week between the GAA and public health authorities over whether any fans will be allowed through the turnstiles for the promotion play-off, but even if a green light is given, the maximum number allowed will be 200.
Government guidelines announced on Friday evening stated that 200 people could attend matches in stadia with a minimum capacity of 5,000 people.
However, this capacity is understood to refer to the number of seats in the stand at GAA venues.
It’s expected the number of fans allowed to attend games in these stadia will increase to 500 from July 5.
The semi-final, which throws-in at 1.45pm on Sunday, June 13 in Ennis, will be televised live on TG4.
The big game will be the first meeting between the counties in league football since February 2002 when Mayo defeated the Banner men by 2-19 to 1-6 in MacHale Park.
Incidentally, James Horan kicked a point from full-forward that day, while Marty McNicholas and Conor Mortimer shook the net for the home side.
Two weeks after their trip to Ennis, Mayo will run out at Markievicz Park to take on Sligo in the Connacht SFC quarter-final on Saturday, June 26.
Speaking to The Mayo News last night, Mayo GAA Board secretary Dermot Butler said that it was too early to say for sure whether supporters would be allowed to attend that knock-out fixture.
“We honestly don’t know what the situation will be yet, but we’ll just have to wait and see what we’re told in the coming days. We’d love to have fans back at games. The atmosphere created at games in the north last weekend was brilliant with just 500 in attendance, so we’re all looking forward to things improving in that regard.”
If Mayo get the better of Sligo in the Connacht SFC quarter-final they will then face Leitrim in Castlebar. Should the defending champions qualify for the final, they would also be at home for the provincial decider against either Galway or Roscommon.

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