Friday, June 26, 2020

By John FogartyGAA Correspondent Irish Examiner

The All-Ireland senior hurling and football finals have been fixed for Sunday, December 13, and Saturday, December 19, respectively.

The Championship commences with Munster and Leinster SHC quarter-finals on the weekend of October 24 and 25. Both provincial senior hurling finals will take place on weekend of November 14 and 15. The McDonagh Cup final will take place as the curtain-raiser of the Liam MacCarthy Cup final.

The Munster and Ulster SFC deciders are scheduled for November 22. The Munster senior football champions will face the Connacht winners. The Leinster SFC final will coincide with the Bloody Sunday commemoration in Croke Park on November 21.

As anticipated, there will be two rounds of hurling qualifiers and All-Ireland quarter-finals for teams beaten in their provincial championships. In round one, the six teams who do not make the provincial finals will be placed in a draw with the first four teams drawn in round one, two Munster teams facing two Leinster teams, and the other two receiving a bye into round two and that draw will be subject to avoiding repeat pairings where possible.

The All-Ireland SFC is a straight knock-out competition. Extra-time and penalties will be applicable to all inter-county knock-out games including All-Ireland finals.

Those teams finishing top of the Allianz Football Leagues after the final two rounds in October will be considered winners. The finals in Division 2 and 3 are the only games that will be played in hurling. The football championship commences on October 31 and November 1 with games in all provinces.

The U20 All-Ireland football semi-finals and finals will be completed, starting on the opening weekend of the inter-county window, while the U20 hurling championship will be played concurrently with the senior hurling championship. A player who plays in the SHC becomes ineligible for U20 until his senior team has exited the championship.

The minor championships will be straight knock-out but won’t be played on the same bills as senior games as there is a determination to conclude them earlier. Galway will play the Munster minor champions.

There will be no junior championship in 2020 due to time constraints as well as no 2020/21 provincial and All-Ireland club championships, which has been expected. The 2020 second-level schools competition will be completed to provincial final stage only.

The CCCC have recommended county finals should be completed by October 4 for counties starting Championship on the weekend of October 24.

New York will not be involved in the 2020 Connacht senior football championships but London will be, providing travel restrictions allow it. The same fluid situation applies to the UK counties involved in the lower tier hurling championships. Consideration will be given in the coming weeks to the ramifications of Kerry winning the Joe McDonagh Cup.


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