GAA confirm next year’s All-Ireland football final date will be changed
Teams will have to wait another week to reach the Holy Grail of football.
According to the Irish Examiner, GAA director of games administration and player welfare, Feargal McGill, has confirmed that next year's All-Ireland Football Final will be moved in preparation for the possibility of Pope Francis attending the World Meeting of Families mass on 26 August.
The All-Ireland Football Final in 2018 was the first year that the event was to take place in August but the GAA has confirmed that it will now take place on 2 September.
The ruling follows GAA Congress' meeting in February where they voted in favour of moving both All-Ireland Finals to August from 2018 onwards.
Pope Francis chose Dublin as the spot to host the next World Meeting of Families, which will take place on the week of 21-26 August.
The meeting will be held in several places all over Dublin over the course of those days and although nothing has been confirmed yet, it is possible that Croke Park could hold one of the many events on Sunday 26 August.
From 2019 however, it is likely that the football final will revert back to an August date.
Provisional dates to keep in the diary so far for the footballing year of 2018: Semi-Finals are likely to take place on 11 and 12 August with the final round of the new football Super 8s to be played over the course of the August Bank Holiday weekend on the same days as the hurling semi-finals.
Pope Francis informed then Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, about his intention to visit Ireland when Kenny paid a visit to him in Rome in November 2016.
It's not the first time that dates for an All-Ireland Final have been changed.
In 2006, both the All-Ireland Hurling and Football Finals were moved to facilitate the Ryder Cup, which was held at the K Club in Kildare.
The golf tournament clashed with the football final and a decision to move both finals back a week was made.