THERE is confusion surrounding the allocation of tickets for Saturday night’s National Football League game in Omagh between Tyrone and Monaghan after it emerged that the Farney county has called for an increase on the 50 tickets they have been allocated.
On Tuesday the GAA confirmed that from this weekend 500 spectators will be permitted to attend games in the North. The decision was made in line with current Covid-19 rules in both jurisdictions.
With cross-border travel for non-essential reasons discouraged and following discussions with Ulster GAA, it was agreed that 50 complimentary tickets will be given to the travelling county from outside the North (for non-playing players and county officials) with no sale for spectators.
However, the Chronicle has learned that Monaghan and Donegal are not happy with the allocation and have lodged an objection with Croke Park.
It is expected that Croke Park will reject the objection and will stick with the original plan.
There are 50 complimentary tickets for the home county, for “non-playing players and county officials” with 400 tickets then to be distributed by the Tyrone County Board, which are to be sold ‘locally’.
That means that 400 Tyrone supporters will be permitted to attend Saturday evening’s clash at O’Neills Healy Park.
The GAA in Tyrone will await the outcome of the decision from Croke Park before allocating their tickets. If, in the unlikely event that Monaghan receive extra tickets, it will impact on the amount that the host county is allocated.
It is also expected that Tyrone will allocate their tickets in the traditional manner to players, sponsors, the Tyrone GAA subcommittees and a small number to each club.
PRO Eugene McConnell said, “It will be a welcome sight to see supporters back at a Tyrone game although it is a very limited number. It is better to have a few hundred in enjoying the cut and thrust of the big game than none. This will be the first time supporters will get to see Tyrone live since they beat Dublin on February 29 last year.”
Supporters also return to club games this week with a full round of fixtures on Friday, albeit without the services of county players.
Mr McConnell added, “It is great to get back to watch football. Hopefully the numbers permitted will continue to increase. The GAA’s priority has been health and safety during the pandemic and it has done a great job. That remains the priority and hopefully this is the start of the road back to normality.”