DISCUSSIONS on the future of the 2020 League and Championship are immaterial right now, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has contended as attention focuses across Ireland and the world on tackling the Covid19 pandemic.
All sports organisations around the globe, including the GAA, have put their competitions on the backburner in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Last week Tyrone County Board chairman Michael Kerr issued a statement in which he outlined the decision to postpone all GAA activities in the County until the end of April, at which point the situation will be reviewed.
Any prolonged suspension of Gaelic Games further into the season will inevitably increase the likelihood of the National Leagues being declared null and void and cast a doubt over the summer Championship proceeding.
Yet for Mickey Harte any sporting ramifications were inconsequential in the grand scheme of things right now.
“ Honestly, my only opinion is that we get through this by saving as many lives as possible and realising how important every life is.
“ I honestly do not think about football, when it will resume, how it will resume, or anything else. The GAA acted very swiftly and decisively to call off all activity, and I know that they will do the same thing again to make sure that whenever we return, we’re returning that as many people as possible can enjoy what our sport has to offer.”
The long-serving Tyrone boss feels that the unprecedented health concerns gripping the country right now put any such issues regarding a cancelled NFL programme in stark contrast.
“That is possible (League not finished), but that’s not important. When it’s normal life, these things are very important, and we know how much it means to people, and I understand that.
“ But I have often said that what we often see as a life and death issue is far from it. It’s a real life and death issue we’re dealing with now, and it’s going to affect people’s lives in an unprecedented way. We are in unprecedented times, this has never happened before, nobody has experience of this.
“ The one light at the end of the tunnel is that we as people
have the chance to slow this down and to make it manageable,
and that’s what we need to be doing.”
Harte stated that the Tyrone senior panel are doing their own thing right now in regard to maintaining their fitness and conditioning levels.
“ We’re doing what the GAA asked us to do.
“They asked us to desist from all collective training, and our players have done that.
“Obviously young people, young players, young athletes do find ways of keeping themselves fit personally, and they go about that work in their own way.
“ Some people go to the beach, some go to quiet places, but there’s no collective training on our part at all.
“Any dates of return are not important at this stage.
“What is important is that we all do the right thing, and that we are in control of when we return to action again by the actions we take now.
“ That’s all of us, so if we want to be back playing sport again, sooner rather than later, we have a part to play and we must be diligent about the part we play.”