ORGANISERS of the Liam Miller charity match in Cork have been denied permission by the GAA to use Pairc Ui Chaoimh to host the game.
The event is planned for September 25 at Turners Cross, the home of Cork City Football Club.
However, Turners Cross has a capacity of just 7,000 whereas Pairc Ui Chaoimh boasts a capacity of 45,000.
The match will feature a host of football stars from Miller’s Manchester United, Celtic and Ireland days including Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
Roy Keane will manage one side and play in the game, while Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will coach the other.
The event is likely to sell out in almost no time at all, with thousands of fans expected to be left disappointed.
The GAA's Rule 42 prohibits GAA stadiums from hosting non-GAA sports, was modified in 2005 with Croke Park opened while Lansdowne Road was under reconstruction. in 2010 the GAA voted to keep Croke Park open when Lansdowne was finished but other GAA stadia are not permitted to host 'foreign sports'.
Speaking about the GAA’s refusal to allow the game to be held at Pairc UI Caoimh, Cork Lord Mayor Mick Finn told Independent.ie: “Turner’s Cross stadium will be packed to capacity, the tickets are going to fly out the door tomorrow.”
He continued: “One pity is that we didn’t have the use of a bigger venue in the city. I know attempts were made to get Pairc Ui Chaoimh, which is a pity, but I have no doubt that the Cork public will row in behind this and it will be a fantastic event.
“There is such a demand for this event that I have no doubt it will sell out within a couple of minutes. Attempts were made by Michael (O’Flynn), and myself and others to see if Pairc Ui Chaoimh would be available. But they have their own internal practices, the response was it wasn’t available on this occasion.
“I think it has to go before Congress, (to use) every pitch outside Croke Park. They have approval for Croke Park I think generally, and every other facility has to go before Congress which isn’t until next February, so it just wasn’t an option.
“They have offered their premium facilities free of charge, conscious of the fact that Liam played with Eire Og, and captained his school to a Sciath na Scol final in ’93.
“They are making those facilities available if required, but unfortunately, on this occasion, it was just too soon for it to be organised.”
Liam Miller passed away on 9 February of pancreatic cancer, just four days shy of his 37th birthday.