TYRONE have said they will not be able to fulfil their All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Kerry next weekend.
A Covid-19 outbreak has derailed their bid for a place in September’s final at Croke Park, having affected their preparations for the Ulster final victory against Monaghan.
A statement from Tyrone said “the welfare and safety of players has been the over-riding factor” in their decision.
The sides were due to meet at Croker tomorrow but a Covid-19 outbreak saw Tyrone ask Headquarters for a two-week extension.
However they were granted just a six-day reprieve, meaning the game was set to go ahead next Saturday.
Tyrone now say that will not give them enough time to adequately prepare for the tie safely.
“This morning, the Tyrone GAA Management Committee has decided that it is not in a position to field its senior football team in the rescheduled All-Ireland football championship semi-final in Croke Park, on next Saturday,” read a statement today.
“Having received expert medical opinion on the existing, and future health and welfare of the players who contracted the Covid-19 virus during the period of this last two weeks, and following consultation with the team’s management, this decision has been made with the greatest reluctance, and with deep regret.
“It is acknowledged that the decision taken will cause major disappointment and significant inconvenience for the Association, in general, the GAA fraternity of Kerry, and especially for Tyrone’s patrons and supporters, but the welfare and safety of players has been the over-riding factor in all considerations of this difficult situation.”
Covid has already affected the Championships, with the backdoor system being scraped for 2020 and 2021, meaning just the four provincial champions make it to the semi-finals.
It remains to be seen whether Croke Park will grant the Ulster champions a further extension.
If not, Kerry will face either Dublin or Mayo in the final, whose semi-final takes place this evening at 6pm.