Liam Miller charity match organiser dismisses reports that the GAA have given go-ahead for Páirc Uí Chaoimh 1 year ago

Liam Miller charity match organiser dismisses reports that the GAA have given go-ahead for Páirc Uí Chaoimh

A meeting between organisers and the GAA is set to take place.

The Liam Miller charity football match has not been given the official green light to take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, despite reports that it was set to go ahead.

Tickets for the match, which will see an Ireland/Celtic XI managed by Martin O'Neill face off against a Manchester United XI headed up by Roy Keane, sold out almost immediately on Friday.

The match is currently scheduled to take place at Turners Cross on 25 September.

The resulting demand for tickets led to the suggestion that the match be moved to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which has a capacity of 45,000.

The GAA released a statement earlier on in the week, mentioning that the game simply couldn't go ahead in the Cork stadium thanks to Rule 42 – which prohibits the playing of non-GAA games in GAA stadiums.

On Saturday night, it appeared that the GAA had relented in the face of public criticism, and the much-debated tribute match would now take place at the larger capacity venue.

An earlier report, generated by a journalist on social media, had stated that the game was going ahead at the venue. However, a new development on Sunday suggests that this is not the case.

Speaking to Trevor Welch on The Score on Cork's  96FM on Sunday, match organiser Michael O'Flynn was asked about the rumours and whether or not they were accurate.

"Look, they're not even rumours," O'Flynn began.

"I don't understand where they have come from, because that is not the situation.

"All that has happened is that the GAA have come out [on Saturday] with the suggestion of a meeting, which I have welcomed, and I do indeed welcome the opportunity to sit down with them to discuss the chance of maybe holding the event in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

"But that's it; it's only a meeting. And those social media comments were completely and utterly wrong," he added.

Asked if the GAA have come under pressure following a huge public outcry, O'Flynn said there was no doubt that that was the case.

"GAA people and the GAA themselves are very sympathetic to this," said O'Flynn.

"They have a predicament in terms of the rules that they have, and to be fair to the county board, they were receptive. But I think it's gone up the line and they felt that it was going to be in breach of a rule that couldn't be altered until it went to congress.

"So, obviously the GAA are mindful of the reaction and mindful of their own people - it's not just the football world, the GAA themselves want this to happen.

"That's something they have to take on board and I welcome the fact that they are keen to have a meeting, and hopefully it might bring some sort of breakthrough."

An optimistic O'Flynn noted that up until Saturday, there was no real prospect of an official meeting with the GAA, but now it appears that one will take place in the near future.

"That must be progress," he offered. "But equally it's not helpful when people go and get ahead of themselves and then we end up in a situation where we're wondering, 'Who is suggesting this?'"

As of now, there is no date set for the meeting between the match organisers and the GAA.