CONCERNS about crowds being able to adhere to social distancing protocols in smaller grounds has caused a delay in finalising venues for this winter’s Ulster Senior Championship matches- including the much anticipated first round clash of Donegal vs Tyrone.
Back to back provincial champions Donegal are due to have home advantage in Ballybofey for the contest, which is now scheduled for the weekend of October 31st/November 1st.
Pairc MacCumhaill has proven to be a major fortress for the TirChonnail against the Red Hands down through the years (although the visitors did win in the last Championship contest there,the decisive Super 8 match in 2018).
Donegal manager Declan Bonner will therefore be extremely reluctant to concede home advantage, but with attendances at this year’s Championship set to be limited in light of the Covid-19 pandemic he may have little say in the matter.
The tight confines at Ballybofey, with three quarters of the ground consisting of terracing, mean that as few as three/four thousand spectators would be able to attend should the standing areas be closed.
In light of this factor the Ulster Council could yet decide to move the fixture to a larger venue.
In a statement released at the weekend the Ulster Council decided in light of Covid19 restrictions that venues for the entire Senior Football Championship would be reviewed and subsequently, confirmed at the next Ulster CCC meeting in a few weeks time.